[edit] Notes Am Sv

Drift netting is a fishing technique where nets, called drift nets, are allowed to drift free in a sea or lake.Drift nets are lengthy, free-floating, 26-49 ft (8-15 m) deep nets, each as long as 55 mi (90 km). The nets are used to snare fish by their gills in pelagic, open-water situations. Usually, a drift net is a gill net with floats attached to a rope along the top of the net, and weights attached to another rope along the foot of the net. Nets of up to 50km have been set in recent times. Because drift nets are not anchored to the sea bottom or connected to a boat, they are sometimes lost in storms and become ghost nets. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. They can entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, and the occasional human diver. After the fish are caught they are thrown back into the ocean whether they are

dead or alive.

In some islands in the south Pacific, in one year, drift nets were estimated to kill one million dolphins, porpoises, and other cetaceans, millions of other seabirds, tens of thousands of seals, thousands of sea turtles, sharks, and other long non-target marine life.( see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neFn43AnvTU

Driftnets have been commonly used by many countries in coastal waters. However, Japanese drift net fishing began to draw public attention in the mid-1980s when Japan and other Asian countries began to send large fleets to the North Pacific Ocean to catch mainly tuna and squid. Japan operated about 900 drift net vessels earning around $300 million a year. Those fishing boats were blamed not only for the destruction of marine life, but also for the poaching of North Pacific salmon, harming the U.S. and Canadian fishing industries, and threatening the jobs of fishermen who did not use such methods.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which bans drift net fishing in international waters which started on December, 1992. The United States still permits drift gill net fisheries within U.S. waters, and as of March 2007, there are over 1300 vessels fishing with drift nets in European waters. In 1993, the United Nations banned drift nets longer than 1.5 miles. They did this in hopes that it would reduce the amount of accidental deaths by two-thirds. By 1998, using drift nets in fisheries that targeted specific species, such as snapper, tuna, and swordfish, were banned. When the European Union banned drift nets that were longer than 1.5 miles some nations objected this law and to this day those nations still do not enforce it. There has been a lot of resistance from fishing industries and fishing nations on the regulation of drift nets. Illegal fishers,who find it hard to move away from drift netting, still use them and this continues to cause damage to marine life in the oceans.