Letters to the Editor: No, California isn’t trying to put swordfish fishermen out of business

A sign at the Santa Barbara Harbor gives facts about swordfish
A sign at the Santa Barbara Harbor gives facts about swordfish, including how big they get, growing to 1,200 pounds and a length of 15 feet.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The article, “Would you quit your job for $110,000? This California swordfish catcher said no,” is misleading about the harm caused by driftnets and the benefits of more sustainable methods, like deep-set buoy gear.

The article claims that California’s program is paying swordfish fishermen to go out of business. In reality, it’s helping them transition to more sustainable and more profitable methods. That is why half of the fishermen have already taken advantage of the program and more than a quarter more plan to participate.

Only half of the marine species entangled in driftnets are swordfish. The rest are whales, dolphins, sea lions, sea turtles, sharks and other protected species. In contrast, deep-set buoy gear has a 98% catch rate for swordfish and allows fishermen to bring in fresher fish that sell for a higher price at market.


Our oceans face many challenges. This solution is a win-win for fishermen and the oceans.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)