We recently released a new video highlighting the results of our Gulf of Mexico Longline Gear Conversion Program, in which we helped nearly 50 boats convert to more environmentally friendly fishing gear in West Florida.
We launched the Longline Gear Conversion Program last year in response to regulations that shut down longline fishing, after the government found that the gear was “interacting” with too many sea turtles. The ban on this widely-used type of gear was devastating for many communities in West Florida.
Environmental Defense Fund believed there was a better way to keep fishermen on the water and sea turtles safe. Our program paid up to 50% of the costs for fishermen to covert to gear that was better for sea turtles and kept fishermen on the water. Many fishermen told us they wouldn’t have been able to make the gear change without our help.
This type of win-win solution is what EDF does best.
The 2010 BP oil disaster demonstrates that initiatives like this one, which help fishing communities and the environment, are more important than ever.