Trump vetoes California fishing bill over seafood trade deficit

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Jan 02, 2021, 09.02 AM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Trump vetoed the fishing bill as the Republican-controlled Senate followed the Democratic-led House and voted to overturn his earlier veto of the annual defence policy bill, enacting it into law despite Trump's objections.

US President Donald Trump has vetoed a bill that would gradually end the use of large-mesh drift gillnets deployed exclusively in federal waters off the coast of California.

He on Friday, in his veto message to the Senate, said such legislation would increase reliance on imported seafood and worsen a multibillion-dollar seafood trade deficit.

Trump vetoed the fishing bill as the Republican-controlled Senate followed the Democratic-led House and voted to overturn his earlier veto of the annual defence policy bill, enacting it into law despite Trump's objections.

The fishing bill's sponsors said large-mesh drift gillnets, which measure between 1.6 kilometers and 2.4 kilometers long and can extend 60.9 meters below the surface of the ocean, are left in the waters overnight to catch swordfish and thresher sharks. 

At least 60 other marine species - including whales, dolphins and sea lions - can also become entangled in the nets, where they are injured or die.

It is illegal to use these nets in US territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and off the coasts of Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. They remain legal in federal waters off California's coast.

The bill Trump vetoed would have extended similar protections to federal waters off California's shoreline within five years and authorised the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help the commercial fishing industry switch to more sustainable types of gear.

(with inputs)

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