Thousands of people who care about protecting endangered sea turtles from longline hooks sent in letters, emails and signed petitions to halt the expansion of the Hawaii-based fishery for swordfish. Sea Turtle Restoration Project thanks every person, scientist, environmental group and fisher who voiced their opposition to the deadly fishery to National Marine Fisheries Service, which were due today, August 3, 2009. More than 1,500 people signed the on-line petition.
Hundreds more circulated hard-copy petitions, many of them from divers and visitors to Snorkel Bob's in Hawaii. More than 50 hard-copy petitions were faxed directly to the Hawaii offices of National Marine Fisheries Service.
More than 50 scientists submitted a letter opposing the fishery expansion based on the best available science about sea turtle decline.
About two-dozen Hawaii-based groups made a special plea to hold the line on the swordfish fishery due to harm to sea turtles, whales, sharks, fish and the local fishing community.
So did major ocean, marine mammal, animal rights and public health groups who worried about by-catch as well as mercury in swordfish.
Watch these webpages for news on the response to this outcry from federal fishery managers!