North Pacific Driftnet Expedition (1988)

In 1988, an Earthtrust expedition to the traditionally-secret North Pacific driftnet fishing grounds graphically documented the world largest kill of ocean wildlife for the first time. Conducted by a heroic 6-person crew aboard the 42-foot ketch Sea Dragon, this 2-month mission documented, both above and below the seas, the destruction caused by the Asian "Red squid" driftnet fleets in international waters. Still photographs and video images from the expedition, disseminated around the globe via the media, created worldwide awareness of this unprecedented human threat to the marine ecosystem, and intensified international efforts to monitor and regulate these vast, largely unknown fishing fleets. The resulting Earthtrust video production, Stripmining the Seas became the global rallying point for the issue and set the stage for the U.N. Driftnet moratorium. Images from this expedition are still the world standard.

Gallery: Pictures from the 1988 North Pacific Driftnet Expedition


The Sea Dragon


Diver with dead juvenile dolphin entangled in an open ocean driftnet


Dead swordfish. Driftnets are causing massive depletions to billfish populations


Earthtrust campaigner with dead dolphin


Earthtrust's Jim Logan in Zodiac checking driftnet by-catch

For more information on Earthtrust's role in stopping driftnetting, see Earthtrust's DriftNetwork page, and the document Earthtrust and Driftnets: A Capsule History.


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