1. 1. This California sea lion was entangled and drowned in a drift gillnet.
See those marks along its body? That’s from being pressed against the netting. The drift gillnets in California are meant for swordfish and thresher sharks, but unlucky animals like sea lions can become captured by the long fishing nets.
2. This is what a California sea lion should look like:
Swimming freely through the water. They’re very social animals and can form groups of several hundred individuals.
3. 2.This Risso’s Dolphin lies dead onboard a vessel after being removed from a drift gillnet.
4. This is what a Risso’s dolphin should look like:
Risso’s dolphins typically reach 10 feet in length and weigh 600 to 1,100 lbs. They’re the biggest cetaceans to be called “dolphins.”
5. 3. These Dall’s porpoises lie lifeless after being drowned in a California drift gillnet.
The nets entangle these creatures, cutting into their bodies and rendering them unable to surface for air.
6. This is what a Dall’s porpoise should look like:
These animals can swim up to 35 miles an hour.
7. 4. These short beaked common dolphins were killed in California drift gillnets.
9. This short beaked common dolphin’s tail had to be severed to remove it from a drift gillnet.
10. This is what a short beaked common dolphin should look like:
They perform spectacular aerial shows in their natural habitats.
11. 5. This salmon shark killed as bycatch has its fins cut off.
12. This is what a salmon shark should look like:
As an apex predator, salmon sharks feed on salmon, squid, herring and other fish.
13. 6. This unlucky Pacific loggerhead was captured and drowned in a California drift gillnet.
14. This is what a Pacific Loggerhead turtle should look like:
Pacific loggerheads make a long journey over 7,500 miles between nesting beaches in Japan and feeding grounds off the coast of Mexico. Most spend their time in California waters swimming through the water in search of their next meal.
15. 7. This juvenile Northern elephant seal lies dead on the deck of a drift gillnet boat.
16. This is what a baby Northern Elephant seal should look like:
While their core breeding areas are in California and Mexico, they have an enormous range, traveling as far as the ocean waters off Alaska and Hawaii to feed.
17. 8. This gray whale is completely entrapped in a drift gillnet.
This fishing net is capable of snaring and killing an animal that weighs in around 30 to 40 tons (27,300 to 36,300 kg).
18. This is what a gray whale should look like:
Each year gray whales make a 5,000 to 6,000 mile migration.
19. 9. This short-finned pilot whale hangs lifelessly in a California drift gillnet.
20. This is what a short-finned pilot whale should look like:
Short finned pilot whales can reach sizes up to 24 feet and 6,600 pounds. Only 760 short-finned pilot whales are estimated to live off the U.S. West Coast. They’re very sociable, found in groups of 10 to 30, but rarely seen by people.
21. 10. This long-beaked common dolphin was killed in a drift gillnet set off the California coast.
22. This is what a long-beaked common dolphin should look like:
Long-beaked common dolphins sometimes live in pods of hundreds to even thousands.
Help us stop drift gillnets from needlessly killing more marine animals. With cleaner gear types available, it’s time to remove these “walls of death.”