(CBS 5) ― Each year, hundreds leatherback turtles migrate half way around the world — swimming thousands of miles across the Pacific from their nesting grounds in Indonesia to the Bay Area, to feed on a massive colony of the jellyfish. But many of the rare turtles could soon be snared in California fishing lines.
Yet the leatherback is in trouble. Many die each year at the hands of fishermen, and this may soon worsen right off California’s shoreline. Longliner fishing boats out for swordfish regularly catch turtles in their deadly hooks. The turtles often drown and die before fishermen are able to untangle them. That’s why longline fishing was banned off the West Coast years ago. But now, despite opposition from the California Legislature and environmental groups, the National Marine Fisheries Service is getting ready to allow longline fishing between 50 and 200 miles off of our coast.
“At a time they should be trying to protect these sea turtles and save every leatherback…they are putting more hooks into the ocean and increasing threats to the species,” said Michael Milne of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project.
Video and full story at http://cbs5.com/environment/leatherback.turtle.killed.2.869880.html