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California Assembly Supports Sea Turtle Protection

On a strong party-line vote, the California Assembly voted to support protection of sea turtles along the West Coast over the opening of deadly new longline swordfish fisheries. Assembly Joint Resolution 62 authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno passed easily off the Floor on Monday. It is now headed for the Senate.

However, it also appears that the single permit applicant, Peter DuPuy and his wife Karen, are attempting to thwart the state’s efforts to protect marine biodiversity. They have riled up the anti-environmental minority in the Assembly to oppose the resolution in the name of seafood industry profits for a single fisherman and his cronies.

Yet the science speaks for itself: leatherback sea turtles are on the verge of extinction and every one we lose to longline fishing to serve the luxury food market for expensive swordfish (usually $20 per pound or more) is another step toward their disappearnce. We’ve never had a longline fishery along the California coast and we know there is no good reason to open one.

Those who support us are urged to sign the petition supporting West Coast Sea Turtle Protection and opposing the new longlline fisheries.

Here’s the vote tally in the Assembly:

MEASURE: AJR 62 AUTHOR: Leno TOPIC: West Coast sea turtle protection. DATE: 06/09/2008 LOCATION: ASM. FLOOR MOTION: AJR 62 LENO Assembly Third Reading (AYES 45. NOES 27.) (PASS) AYES **** Arambula Beall Berg Blakeslee Brownley Caballero Carter Coto Davis De La Torre De Leon DeSaulnier Dymally Eng Evans Feuer Fuentes Furutani Galgiani Hancock Hayashi Hernandez Huffman Jones Karnette Krekorian Leno Levine Lieber Lieu Ma Mendoza Mullin Nava Nunez Parra Portantino Ruskin Salas Saldana Solorio Swanson Torrico Wolk Bass

NOES **** Adams Anderson Berryhill Cook DeVore Duvall Emmerson Fuller Gaines Garcia Garrick Houston Huff Jeffries Keene La Malfa Maze Nakanishi Niello Plescia Sharon Runner Silva Smyth Spitzer Tran Villines Walters

ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING ********************************* Aghazarian Benoit Charles Calderon Horton Laird Price Soto Strickland