The Center believes their authorization caused and will likely continue cause the unlawful injuries, and deaths of these protected species.
The Department is liable for causing the unlawful entanglements. It is seeking common sense reforms to the Dungeness crab fishery, according to the Center.
West Coast whale entanglements broke records
Over the past three years, the West Coast broke the records of whale entanglements. Last year, 71 whale entanglements were reported, up from 62 in 2015 and 30 in 2014.
Kristen Moonsell, the senior attorney at the Center said, “These entanglements are heartbreaking, illegal and way too common. California officials can’t let this minefield of crab traps continue to slaughter endangered whales and sea turtles.”
Additionally, Monsell said, “Ropes wrapped around humpbacks’ heads, flippers and tails can tighten as they swim and may never come loose. These tragic entanglements are happening in record-breaking numbers.”