John Fiotakis speaks about Fiobuoy at a California State hearing on whale entanglement
CEO of Fiomarine Industries, John Fiotakis, was invited to speak on a panel of experts and stakeholders in the field of sustainable fisheries before the California State Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Wednesday April 24. The panel’s focus was to address the issue of whale and other entanglements in fishing gear by moving beyond funding responses and rescue to looking at preventative solutions.
The entanglement of marine life is a global issue that kills an estimated 300,000 whales annually. It is the leading cause of many whale species. In California, fishing gear poses a high entanglement risk to blue whales, humpbacks and sea turtles. Fisheries and state government have, and continue to, face legal issues because of this problem, as each entanglement is considered a violation of law (under the federal Endangered Species Act).
Whale entanglement can be solved through our proven subsurface marker buoy technology.
Mr. Fiotakis presented the Fiobuoy as a solution to the subcommittee, which was met with strong support from fellow panellists Leah Sturgis (Social Compassion in Legislation) and Dave Anderson (Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari), who remarked that funding needs to be spent on prevention and that the problem of whale entanglement is entirely solvable.
At Fiomarine we believe that there is a need for government incentives to encourage fisherman to move towards using gear that promotes sustainable fishing practices.
Mr. Anderson shares our view and suggested that government implement a plan to subsidise the purchase of subsurface buoys and phase out surface markers, thereby eliminating the problem of entanglements through prevention.
Presenting the Fiobuoy before Californian state government is a great step forward in our goal of developing an effective solution to end the global problem of whale entanglements.
Fiobuoy’s subsurface design eliminates free-floating rope, preventing issues of entanglement, ghost fishing and lost gear. By securing gear, Fiobuoy can ensure it comes out of the water at the end of the season and doesn’t continue to represent a risk of entanglement, a concern expressed by Tom Dempsey (Nature Conservancy).