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U.S. Fisheries Killing Thousands of Protected and Endangered Species

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fisheris kill endangered speciesA new report by Oceana exposes nine U.S. fisheries that throw away half of what they catch, and kill dolphins, sea turtles, whales, and more in the process.  These fisheries are even fishier than they smell.

A new study released this week called Wasted Catch: Unsolved Bycatch Problems in U.S. Fisheries reveals the nine dirtiest fisheries in the United States. It’s a dirty bunch indeed, the waste between them accounting for nearly half a billion wasted seafood meals in the U.S. alone.

Culled by Oceana, the largest international organization for ocean conservation, the fisheries are ranked based on bycatch—the amount of unwanted creatures caught while commercial fishing. Combined, they’re responsible for 50 percent of reported bycatch nationwide.

At the dirtiest fishery, Southeast Snapper-Grouper Longline Fishery, 66 percent of the animals caught are discarded—a number that includes more than 400,000 sharks in just one year. Close behind is California Set Gillnet Fishery, where 65 percent of animals caught are thrown away. The other seven dispensaries, spanning from coast to coast, are death traps for thousands of sea organisms each year. (Read the full list here.

“We’re allowing the capture and death of whales, dolphins, porpoises, turtles, and more,” Dominique Cano-Stocco, campaign director for Oceana tells The Daily Beast. While it’s technically a pro-ocean conservation organization, Oceana stresses that it’s pro-fishing too—but the safe kind. In the interest of bringing in huge quantities, commercial fishing techniques have turned grisly.


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