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The Pacific waters along the U.S. West Coast feature rich habitats and diverse species that contribute to some of the most vibrant ecosystems and economies on Earth. Eelgrass beds and kelp forests provide food and refuge for a diversity of wildlife, including many of the most important commercial fish species, while also filtering pollutants from coastal waters, absorbing climate-warming carbon, and stabilizing the shoreline. Tidepools rich with invertebrate life are an integral part of the marine food web. And rocky coastal areas offer crucial nesting areas for a variety of seabirds. This environment draws millions of visitors each year who explore, fish, surf, paint, take photos, walk on the beach, fly a kite, or take in a sunset, supporting a thriving tourism industry vital to many coastal communities.

Pew promotes sustainable fisheries management in California state waters and supports precautionary closures to seabed mining of nearshore areas in California and Washington, as Oregon did decades ago. Pew also works to reduce bycatch that results from the use of indiscriminate fishing gear, such as large-mesh drift gillnets and shallow-set longlines, and to conserve forage fish as critical prey for marine wildlife.

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Northern Anchovies, the Most Important Prey Fish in the U.S. Pacific Ocean

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More than 50 species of marine wildlife in the California Current ecosystem depend on northern anchovies as a vital part of their diets, including seabirds, larger fish such as salmon and tuna, and marine mammals like whales and sea lions.

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill to End Use of Drift Gillnets

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill to End Use of Drift Gillnets

Brown’s decision is an important victory for dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine wildlife that have been injured and killed by these destructive nets for decades and reflects the overwhelming bipartisan support in the state for transitioning fishermen to more selective gear.

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