Fisheries Policy

The world of modern fisheries management is a complex and oftentimes contentious environment. Many of our favorite recreational fisheries are imperiled due to habitat degradation and commercial overfishing. Sadly, recreational fishing interests often take a backseat to commercial fishing practices. Thus, it is vital that recreational anglers are represented during the fisheries management decision making process. Fisheries managers need to be shown that recreational fishing is a growing and vibrant entity of its own that has considerable participation and economic impact globally. This cannot be done without active participation in the fisheries management process.

From working to eliminate destructive fishing gear to advocating for sustainable fisheries management, the IGFA and its international network work ardently to ensure that recreational anglers are represented and the game fish we revere are sustainably managed.

Lawmakers Send Governor Brown Bill to End Drift Gillnets

September 21, 2018
Sacramento, CA. – The California legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of a Bill to end commercial drift gillnet fishing and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature. Senate Bill (SB) 1017 phases out the use of mile-long nets that drift in the open ocean, compensates drift gillnet fishermen, and encourages a transition to innovative new swordfishing gear.. (click title to read more)

Signature request SB 1017

September 04, 2018
Dear Governor Brown,
On behalf of the above organizations, we respectfully ask for your signature on SB 1017 (Allen). SB 1017 phases out the use of mile-long nets that drift in the open ocean, compensates drift gillnet fishermen, and encourages a transition to innovative, new swordfishing gear. (click title to read more)

Agenda Item H.6: Swordfish Management and Monitoring Plan

August 27, 2018
We ask the Council to adopt a Plan that prioritizes the authorization of actively tended swordfish gear to maximize the economic value of Pacific swordfish while minimizing bycatch, the ecological footprint and management costs and oversight.. (click here to read more)

Final Recommendations on Non‐Deep‐Set Buoy Gear Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs)

August 25, 2018
Dear Mr. Anderson,
As leading recreational fishing and boating organizations, we wish to express our concern over the Council’s consideration of an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) application for deep-set longline gear within the EEZ off of California, Washington and Oregon. (click title to read more)

S. 2773, The Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act

July 23, 2018
Dear Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson,
Drift gillnets are an unsustainable and outdated form of fishing gear that has been banned throughout the United States, with the exception of the California swordfish fishery. These nets incur intolerable levels of unintended bycatch and the fewer than 30 vessels participating in the fishery kill more dolphins, porpoises and whales than all other fisheries on the U.S. West Coast and Alaska combined. (click title to read more)

A Review of the California Drift Gillnet Fishery

July 01, 2018
Drift gillnets (DGN) are often deployed in marine waters off the U.S. West Coast, primarily in federal waters adjacent to California, to harvest swordfish and other high-value food fish. This paper examines the economic characteristics and trends associated with the West coast DGN fishery and compares these trends and economic characteristics to other methods frequently used to harvest swordfish. (click title to read more)

State and Federal Legislation on Drift Gillnets

May 11, 2018
Dear Senator Allen,
I am a lifelong and passionate recreational angler and conservationist residing in Laguna Niguel, California. Ever since witnessing the introduction of drift gill nets to California waters in the 1980s, I have been incredibly concerned about the amount of bycatch produced by this indiscriminant fishing gear. (click title to read more)

New Legislation Promotes Innovative New Fishing Gear

May 01, 2018
Wild Oceans, the International Game Fish Association, Coastal Conservation Association of California and American Sportfishing Association have been working together to promote a transition away from drift nets – to safer, more selective fishing methods for swordfish, tuna and other commercial species. (Click title to learn more)