The National Marine Fisheries Service failed to properly analyze the Hawai‘i-based swordfish longline fishery’s impacts on the endangered loggerhead sea turtles it kills and injures before permitting an expansion of that fishery in 2012, a federal court has ruled.
In the wake of the Trump administration scaling back national monuments and gutting protections for America’s wildlife, Turtle Island Restoration Network, an ocean and coastal watersheds conservation group, is petitioning the U.S. National Marine Fisheries (NMFS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), to designate critical habitat for the Kemp’s ridley, the world’s smallest and most endangered sea turtle, in the Gulf of Mexico.
The report includes the imperiled Pacific leatherback sea turtles, whose populations face danger from California drift gillnets and longlines in Hawaii, fishing methods used to catch swordfish.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network and Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation today filed a notice of intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect humpback whale habitat in the Pacific Ocean, where the animals face threats from fisheries, ship strikes and oil spills.
Many environmental advocates have continued to push for turtle-exclusion devices across all types of trawls. Joanie Steinhaus, campaign director for the Gulf Coast office of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, said she hopes no trawls, fisheries or boats are excluded from the regulations.