Contaminated Swordfish Found in California Grocery Stores

By Got Mercury?

San Francisco, CA – This week, new data was released by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project that shows skyrocketing mercury levels in swordfish purchased at grocery stores in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Orange, Sonoma and Marin counties. Stores in California and around the country continue to sell mercury-contaminated fish despite continued state and federal warnings that swordfish contains unsafe levels of mercury. Mercury levels in tested fish were measured in excess of 4 parts per million, more than 400% of the FDA’s action level. Environmental groups are calling on grocers and restaurants to stop selling swordfish to the public immediately.

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New Study Says Bush Administration Puts Sea Turtles at Risk of Extinction

By Sea Turtles

New rules that have reopened US waters to longline fishing for swordfish and tuna have been corrupted by faulty science and political influence, says a new study released today by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. The report, Techno-Fixing Sea Turtles: How the Bush Administration’s Manipulation of Science is Driving the Leatherback Sea Turtle Towards Extinction, documents how an admittedly flawed and incomplete report by government scientists has provided the basis to reopen the hotly contested fisheries which have been closed as a result of recent lawsuits by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and other conservation groups.

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Lawsuit Filed To Stop Illegal Killing of Albatross And Sea Turtles

By Marine Mammals & Seabirds, Sea Turtles

Honolulu, HI–Today, Turtle Island Restoration Network , the Center for Biological Diversity, an d Ka `Iwa Kua Lele, represented by Earthjustice, filed suit in federal district court in Hawai`i against the National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) for reopening the Hawai`i-based longline swordfish fishery in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”), Endangered Species Act (“ESA”), and National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). The fishery will cause the deaths of black-footed albatross and Laysan albatross, both protected by the MBTA, and endangered sea turtles protected by the ESA, and was reopened without a proper Environmental Impact Statement, in violation of NEPA.

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Federal Fisheries Service Acknowledges Hawai‘i Longline Fleet’s Toll on False Killer Whales

By Marine Mammals & Seabirds, Sea Turtles

Honolulu, HI – Today, the National Marines Fisheries Service (“NMFS”) finally acknowledged the devastating toll that the Hawai‘i-based longline fishing fleet inflicts on the Hawai‘i population of false killer whales, formally classifying the longline fleet as “Category I” in the List of Fisheries for 2004, a designation reserved for fisheries that annually kill and seriously injure marine mammals at unsustainable rates. In November 2003, Turtle Island Restoration Network, along with the Center for Biological Diversity and the Hawai‘i community group Hui Mälama i Koholäand, represented by the Earthjustice law firm filed suit on behalf to force NMFS to increase protection for the whale by making such a reclassification, as mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”).

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UN Panel of Experts Urges Closing Fisheries to Save Sea Turtles

By Sea Turtles

San Francisco, California—A panel of experts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization just released a report that recommended closing fisheries that pose the greatest threat to critically endangered Pacific leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles. In order to address the threat of extinction of leatherback and loggerheads, the panel of experts also recommended that “eco labels” be introduced, fishing effort reduced and financial support be directed towards developing countries to support conservation efforts.

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