PNS Daily News - December 16, 2019 

Sen. Chuck Schumer calls for four specific witnesses in Senate impeachment trial; giving Iowans with disabilities a voice in caucuses; and an expert says Seasonal Affective Disorder is a lot more than just the holiday blues.

2020Talks - December 16, 2019 

Sen. Cory Booker led the charge asking the DNC to ease up debate qualification requirements. All seven candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate say they won't participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount in LA if it means crossing the picket line of Unite Here Local 11.

Fishery Managers May Reconsider Allowing Older, Wasteful Gear

Older fishing gear, such as driftnets and shallow-set longlines, are indiscriminate and produce a large bycatch that is dumped back into the ocean. (NOAA)
Older fishing gear, such as driftnets and shallow-set longlines, are indiscriminate and produce a large bycatch that is dumped back into the ocean. (NOAA)
November 13, 2019

COSTA MESA, Calif. - Federal fishery managers are considering funding a review of existing data to determine whether to allow an older type of fishing gear - one long criticized, both by recreational fishers and conservationists - to be used off the West Coast. The Trump administration wants to look at allowing shallow-set longlines starting at 200 miles offshore.

Recreational angler and retired naval officer Bob Kurz, a trustee for the International Game Fish Association and a member of the Laguna Niguel-based Coastal Conservation Association California, said the crews using the gear to catch swordfish often end up killing a huge amount of unintended bycatch, including whales, porpoise, turtles, tuna, marlin, and even seabirds.

"Over the years," he said, "many of the species have sometimes been pushed to the point where they could face the risk of extinction."

The Pacific Fishery Management Council is to meet next Tuesday in Costa Mesa to take a fresh look at shallow-set longline gear, which involves unfurling a line that is 30 miles or longer, using in excess of 1,000 hooks. The goal is to increase the take of domestic swordfish. The meeting is open to the public, and people also can submit comments online, on the council's website.

The State of California just passed a law to help fishing crews purchase a more sustainable type of gear, called deep-set buoy gear, if they stop using drift gillnets, which catch just about everything that swims by. Kurz said the deep-set buoy gear should be given time to work before the agency considers allowing the more wasteful longlines.

"The two gear types should not be deployed concurrent with one another," he said. "We need to let the deep-set buoy gear be put into use, and see how well it works."

Longlines currently are permitted in the mid-Pacific area with a fleet based in Hawaii. The current proposal from the National Marine Fisheries Service calls for a review of the longlines outside of the 200-mile exclusive economic zone off the Pacific coast.

Meeting information and agenda are online at, and public comments are being taken at


Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA