News from around the Commonwealth concerning turtles.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
From the Center for Biological Diversity
Just months after federal scientists declared that the loggerhead sea turtle is spiraling toward extinction, the Obama administration tripled the number of sea turtles that can be caught by industrial fleets off the Hawaiian coast and increased the catch in the Gulf of Mexico by 700 percent.
The turtles are brutally and painfully snagged on hooks dragged behind massive boats. Worldwide, 200,000 loggerhead and 50,000 leatherback sea turtles are caught each year.
That's why we're including them in our campaign to protect 1,000 species. Sea turtles can't survive this level of entanglement and killing -- especially not to prop up industrial fishing fleets that are also killing hundred of thousands of whales, sharks, sea otters, and sea birds in the same vicious way each year.
We just filed simultaneous suits in Hawaii and Florida to strike down the federal killing plans. With your help we can see the cases through and reform these out-of-date fishing practices before loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles go extinct.
Loggerheads and leatherbacks are just two of 1,000 plants and animals the Endangered Species Action Fund will allow us to save in 2010. This month we've already launched actions to save polar bears, plains buffalo, golden trout, and salmon. With your help we'll soon take action on behalf of creatures in every state including wolverines, tree frogs, gray wolves, spotted frogs, and Florida panthers.
Saving 1,000 plants and animals is the biggest campaign we've ever mounted -- the biggest campaign in the history of the Endangered Species Act. But with your help, we can save them all.
Please donate generously today. We need to stop the brutal killing of sea turtles as soon as possible.And your gift will be matched 1-to-1 by a generous donor if given by Dec. 31st.
Thanks again for your support,
Kierán Suckling Executive Director Center for Biological Diversity
P.S. Check out the latest article by the Honolulu Advertiser on our sea turtle suit:
Changes to longline fishery rules endanger the existence of loggerhead turtles, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday against the National Marine Fisheries Service…
It claims that the Fisheries Service has relaxed rules governing the longline swordfish industry, allowing the fleet to catch nearly three times more loggerhead turtles than previously permitted.
Jim Milbury, spokesman for the Fisheries Service, said yesterday the agency had not seen the complaint and could not comment on it.
Andrea Treece, an attorney for the Center for Biological, said yesterday, "The Fisheries Service has admitted that loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles in the Pacific face a significant risk of extinction unless we reduce the number of turtles killed by commercial fisheries."
The new rule means that the agency "is proposing measures that would actually increase the number of turtles killed," Treece said.