Ban Fishing Trawlers That Kill Endangered Marine Life

turle caught by doug helton

Target: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

Goal: Ban the use of fishing trawlers that kill endangered sharks, whales, and dolphins.

A photo of a seal caught in a fishing net has recently been circulating the internet, illuminating the destruction of trawlers, or large, commercial fishing nets designed to catch as many fish as possible. According to One Green Planet, as much as 40 percent of the marine life caught in a trawler is “bycatch,” species that wind up in the net along with the fish that the fishermen actually want.

Bycatch can include dolphins, turtles, manta rays, small whales, and sharks, including many endangered species. Any type of fishing that kills endangered marine species should be banned in order to prevent these animals from becoming extinct.

Fishing with trawlers is an entirely unsustainable practice. Every year, trawlers are killing hundreds of thousands of marine animals. These species are incapable of replenishing their populations at the rate we are destroying them. The marine conservation group Sea Shepherd estimates that if current fishing practices continue, the oceans will be completely devoid of fish by 2048.

Sign the petition below to stop the use of fishing trawlers and save our oceans.


Dear Speaker Ryan,

You may have recently seen an image of a seal caught in a fishing net circulating the internet. If you haven’t, I urge you to look it up, and look at the many other tragic images of marine wildlife killed by massive fishing nets.

These images are not just sad — they illuminate the dangerous and unsustainable practices of the fishing industry. About 40 percent of the marine organisms caught by fishing trawlers are “bycatch,” catch that was not the original target of the fishermen. It is absolutely absurd for the fishing industry to use a method of fishing which senselessly harms so many animals, including dolphins, sea turtles, seals, small whales and sharks. The animals caught as bycatch are often endangered species, which are in critical need of protection. Many species of sharks, for example, are endangered, and if we do not make an effort to save them, entire ocean ecosystems could collapse.

If we do not stop our current fishing practices, the oceans will be completely devoid of fish by the year 2048. Banning trawlers not only makes sense environmentally, it also makes sense economically. If there are no more fish left by 2048, there will be no more fishing industry.

I urge you to introduce a bill which will ban the use of trawlers, and require all fishermen to use sustainable methods of fishing which will protect endangered species.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Doug Helton

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  1. must ban all evil super trawlers now to save the sacred marine life now.

  2. Lucy Kelly says:

    We are taking the last fish from the sea. Are other fish eating species chasing the same fish? If so, the bycatch could be the remainder of their own kind. We could be eliminating the last of all of those species.

    We use satellites to detect fish schools. Sea animals use sonar, which can travel for thousands of miles. Are they preying on the same fish as we are? They may be, because so few fish are left in the oceans.

    What proportion of bycatch was there before? I think it was less. So as we catch fewer fish because there are fewer fish, are we catching more bycatch, which has been drawn en masse to the last remaining fish?

    We should perhaps stop fishing, at least for a reasonable period of time.

  3. Barbara Tomlinson says:

    Stop NOW! Tomorrow it will be too late.

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