Turtle groups warned federal fishery managers that the harm to sea turtles from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico must be considered when deciding how many can be hooked on longlines in the Florida fishery for reef fish. The fishery was closed last year due to excess capture of loggerhead sea turtles, but re-opened with a seasonal three-month closure that allows 1,152 loggerhead sea turtles to be hooked in the fishery every year, of which 631 are expected to be lethal, for the period 2009 through
This decision violates the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to reinitiate consultation on the effects of Amendment 31 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan and operation pursuant to it, in light of substantial new information and circumstances presented by the ongoing Deepwater Horizon blowout, oil spill, and response efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. This notice seeks a new consultation under Section 7 of the ESA and a new biological opinion. See the 60-Day Notice letter.
Read more about other actions related to the bottom longline fishery.