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Marin-Based Wildlife Group Slams EPA Pick

Turtle Island Restoration Network, a Marin-based wildlife organization, is raising a red flag over Donald Trump’s proposed appointment of Scott Pruitt as the head of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt’s record has shown a favoritism towards the oil industry and actions against wildlife. Turtle Island is urging wildlife lovers to contact their Senators to urge them to oppose his Congressional confirmation.

What are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving is a great time to think about what you are thankful for and reflect on the year.
At Turtle Island Restoration Network, we are thankful for you – our members and supporters!

Senator Ben Allen Nominated for Presidential Champions of Change Award

This week Turtle Island nominated Senator Ben Allen (D – Santa Monica) for the prestigious White House Champions of Change Award. The effective local ocean and marine conservation organization nominated Sen. Allen for his leadership introducing a bill to protect California’s marine wildlife by ending the use of deadly drift gillnets off our coast.

New Study Links Eating Shark Fins & Meat to Alzheimer’s Disease

new study by scientists from the University of Miami has found high concentrations of toxins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the fins and muscles of 10 species of sharks. This latest research combined with data on high levels of mercury in shark meat and fins is adding to a growing body of evidence that eating shark poses serious human health risks. Turtle Island Restoration Network (seaturtles.org) and leading shark conservationists are calling on consumers to not eat shark for their health and for ecological reasons.

WATCH Our Series of Public Service Announcements on Driftnet Caught Swordfish

Watch & share our new series of public service announcements on California driftnet caught-swordfish. Don’t let marine wildlife get caught up in driftnets! Make smart seafood choices. Say ‘no’ to California driftnet caught high-in-mercury swordfish that comes with unwanted sides of sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, whales and other marine wildlife.

Speak Up for Silky Sharks

Turtle Island is ramping up efforts to advocate for silky sharks on the international stage. In some cases, our presence pushes a conservation agenda forward in a room otherwise filled with fisheries managers.

La propuesta Costarricense para Conservar el Tiburón Sedoso Menoscaba Esfuerzos Globales Para Conservar Tiburones

Conservacionistas están pidiendo a la comunidad internacional incrementar la protección de tiburones bajo la Comisión Inter Americana de Atún Tropical (CIAT)*, que celebrará su reunión anual la próxima semana en el Sur de California. En particular, los conservacionistas están apoyando una propuesta por parte de la Unión Europea (U.E.) que llama a cerrar las pesquerías dirigidas hacia el tiburón sedoso (Carcharhinus falciformis) por un periodo de tres meses, y a prohibir

Endangered Species Act Protection Sought for Pacific Bluefin Tuna

Pacific bluefin tuna have reached dangerously low population levels, so a coalition of individuals and groups today petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect the species under the Endangered Species Act. The Pacific bluefin tuna population has declined more than 97 percent since fishing began, largely because countries have failed to reduce fishing enough to protect the iconic species, a luxury item on sushi menus.

Conservationists Appeal for Protection of Silky Sharks

Conservationists are calling on the global community to increase protections for silky sharks under the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC),* which is holding its annual meeting next week in Southern California. In particular, conservationists are supporting a proposal from the European Union (E.U.) that calls for 3-month closures on targeted silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) fisheries, and for banning the use of wire leaders (a type of gear that catches more sharks).

Conservacionistas Piden Protección del Tiburón Sedoso

onservacionistas están pidiendo a la comunidad internacional incrementar la protección de tiburones bajo la Comisión Inter Americana de Atún Tropical (CIAT)*, que celebrará su reunión anual la próxima semana en el Sur de California.

Turtle Island & Kurmalliance Featured in Mantra Magazine

Turtle Island Restoration Network and Kurmalliance, our partners in Southern California, were honored to be featured in Mantra Magazine for our work to phase our deadly California driftnets. Pick up the magazine at Whole Foods and health stores nationwide.

Study Shows Shark Meat in Costa Rican Markets Has High Levels of Toxic Mercury

New data from George Mason University has revealed that shark meat sold in San Jose and Heredia food markets contain high levels of toxic mercury. The levels are so high that three shark species tested exceed U.S. federal health guidelines. Advocates are advising consumers, and especially women and children, to not buy shark due to risks to human health.

Protesters Descend on Sen. Lara’s Headquarters in Support of Bill to Protect Dolphins & Whales from Driftnets

Today, Turtle Island Restoration Network, a leading marine conservation organization, and Kurmalliance, a Southern California-based ocean activist organization, and Ocean Defenders Alliance, an Orange County based marine conservation organization, marched in front of Senator Ricardo Lara’s office in Long Beach, Calif. The purpose of the peaceful protest was to direct Sen. Lara’s attention to Senate Bill 1114, which would phase out the use of deadly driftnets and better protect marine wildlife. Sen. Lara chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is expected to vote on the bill this week, and is in an influential position to protect California’s precious marine wildlife.

More than 250 Scientists Call on Legislators & Fisheries Managers to Protect California’s Marine Wildlife from Driftnets

Over 250 scientists released a joint scientific letter opposing the deadly California driftnet fishery for swordfish, which has some of the highest bycatch rates in the world. The letter, coordinated by Turtle Island Restoration Network, specifically requests that immediate action be taken to phase out the fishery and protect the ecological integrity of California’s coastal waters.

Coalition Urges Leaders to Support Senate Bill 1114 to Phase Out Driftnets

More than 30 environmental, ocean, conservation, and activist organizations representing over 1 million members signed on to a joint letter today led by Turtle Island Restoration Network calling on California Senators and Assemblymembers to support Senate Bill 1114. This bill would end the most harmful fishing practice on the West Coast by reducing the number of damaging driftnets off the California coast by phasing out remaining driftnet fishing permits and transitioning to more sustainable deep-set buoy gear.

California’s Driftnet Fishery: A Costly Toll on the State Economy

Turtle Island’s new report ‘The Economic Argument Against the California Driftnet Fishery’ outlines how the California driftnet fishery costs more to operate than the wealth that is created by the fishery. The just-released-report examines new data that shows the cost of regulating this dirty fishery would substantially decrease if the California swordfish fishery used more sustainable gear instead of mile-long driftnets.

Senate Bill 1114 to Phase out the California Driftnet Fishery and Protect Marine Wildlife Moves Through Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water

Today the California Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water voted 6-0 to support Senate Bill (SB) 1114 to phase out the use of mile-long driftnets in California waters. The innovative bill sponsored by Turtle Island Restoration Network and authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) lays out a commonsense transition plan to phase out the use of these mile-long nets to a new, more environmentally responsible fishing method using deep-set buoy gear.

Turtle Island Restoration Network Sponsors Bill to Phase out California Driftnet Fishery to Protect Marine Wildlife

Turtle Island is the sponsor of a new bill authored by Senator Ben Allen designed to protect California’s marine wildlife by ending the use of deadly driftnets in California. The legislation, Senate Bill (SB) 1114, will end the most harmful fishing practice on the West Coast by transitioning California’s swordfish industry away from driftnets to more sustainable fishing technology.

California’s Driftnet Fishery One of Worst in the Nation for Marine Mammals

Turtle Island Restoration Network’s new report ‘Driftnet Overview’ outlines how the California driftnet fishery for swordfish is among the most wasteful fisheries in the world in terms of bycatch (unwanted animals caught and discarded). The just-released-report examines new data that shows the driftnet fishery is a threat to marine mammals, sea turtles and sharks; targets toxic high-in-mercury fish; is a drag on California’s economy; and hampers efforts to clean up international fishing practices.

2015 Victories for Marine Wildlife

Our accomplishments are only possible with your support, and with the action of our more than 200,000 members and activists. You are a key component of our work to save sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sharks, salmon, marine wildlife and our oceans! Learn about our accomplishments and see photos of the marine wildlife we’ve protected in 2015.

GivingTuesday is Tuesday, December 1st

#GivingTuesday™ is a movement created to celebrate giving on the Tuesday following Cyber Monday. Join in by making a donation to Turtle Island on Dec. 1st!!

One Step Closer to Ending Use of Drift Gillnets in California

This September, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) issued a landmark ruling that will put in place stronger regulations for the California drift gillnet fishery for swordfish. These new policies come after years of advocacy by Turtle Island Restoration Network and our partners, and may finally set the course to phase out the use of mile-long drift gillnets in California for good.

Landmark New Rules to Protect California’s Whales, Dolphins and Sea turtles from the Drift Gillnet Fishery

The Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) adopted a strict new rule for California’s drift gillnet fishery to protect nine vulnerable marine species. The rule will institute new “hard caps” that can automatically shut the fishery down if hard limits are reached in any two-year period, reflecting a new no-nonsense approach to dealing with ongoing damage to rare and threatened species, including sperm whales, humpback whales, fin whales, green sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles, pilot whales and bottle nosed dolphins. In addition, the PFMC also instituted new performance standards for discards.

Photography for a Change Transformation

After much consideration I ended up picking ‘Celeste Wave Break’ by Dana Bove, the show’s founder. I love how he captured this moment when the wave is about to crash down. It’s such a unique perspective that makes the ocean almost morph into a mountain for a split second.

Photography for a Change’s Roy Kimhi

Roy is one of the featured photographer’s in Photography for a Change’s incredible online show. As a quick recap for those of you who haven’t already heard, Photography for a Change, provides exquisite photographs of our natural environs.

EVENT: Blue Mind Meet the Authors Reception & Book Talk on August 22nd, 2015

Join Turtle Island’s board and staff to meet the authors at an exclusive pre-event benefit reception and a reserved seat for the Book Talk will be included in your ticket price. Enjoy wine, beer and hearty hors d’oeuvres at the beautiful Dance Palace in West Marin. Learn more about our work and enjoy a silent auction. Your ticket purchase will support our work to protect sea turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, salmon and our world’s oceans.

Feds Propose New Rules to Protect Whales, Dolphins in Other Countries

The National Marine Fisheries Service today proposed major regulations prohibiting the import of seafood into the United States from fisheries that kill whales and dolphins in excess of U.S. standards. Under the new rules, all fisheries worldwide will have to comply with essentially the same marine mammal protection requirements as U.S. fishermen or face an embargo from the lucrative U.S. seafood market.

Meet Photography for a Change’s Ron Wooten

Ron is one of the featured photographer’s in Photography for a Change’s incredible online show. As a quick recap for those of you who haven’t already heard, Photography for a Change, provides exquisite photographs of our natural environs. This show features four photographers who have generously donated their images and prints to support Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Photography for a Change Show to Benefit Turtle Island Restoration Network

Turtle Island Restoration Network is proud to announce that we are teaming up with Photography for a Change to offer you high quality, fine art prints from top, emerging photographers. For a limited time you can purchase these stunning prints that put you in an ocean state of mind, liven up your walls and help protect our world’s oceans and marine wildlife!

Bigeye Tuna Remains on Hawaii’s Menu — But for How Long?

We should be leaders in fisheries management, not cheaters,” said Doug Karpa, of the California-based Turtle Island Restoration Network, noting that the U.S. is one of the few nations that ban the fishing in its own waters of overexploited stocks unless they are recovering.

Nominate Turtle Island for Heart of Marin Awards

Have you sent in your nomination for the 22nd Annual CVNL Heart of Marin Awards? Please nominate Turtle Island Restoration Network for the ‘Achievement in Nonprofit Excellence’ award; And please nominate a dedicated SPAWN volunteer for ‘Volunteer of the Year.’

Movers & Shakers: Doug Karpa

Turtle Island Restoration Network, an international ocean and marine conservation organization headquartered in Marin, has hired Kentfield native Doug Karpa as a staff attorney.

Intern Spotlight: Meet Sara Gendel

Sara Gendel, a graduate student at Bard College in New York, joined the Turtle Island Restoration Network team this July as our newest conservation intern.

Consumer Reports: Pregnant Women Should ‘Avoid All Tuna’

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration proposed a minimum weekly level for fish consumption for the first time. Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or trying to become pregnant, it said, should eat up to 12 ounces of fish per week. After all, fish is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

How to Reduce Your Mercury Exposure from Seafood

Will eating grilled swordfish or tuna sushi expose you to too much mercury? Find out by using the Got Mercury? calculator, provided by Turtle Island Restoration Network. Just enter your body weight, along with the type and amount of fish or shellfish you’re considering eating for the week, and you’ll see how much you will be over or under the maximum acceptable dietary limit for mercury set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Safeway Testing Fish for Mercury and Toxins in Northwest U.S.

GotMercury.org has long advocated for testing of fish for mercury and other toxins to keep toxic fish off fish counters. Now our friends at Safe Harbor Foods are partnering with Safeway supermarkets to test all fresh seafood in 47 Safeway stores in Oregon and Washington in November and December.

California Drift Gillnet Bycatch

These photos depict only a fraction of the horrible scenes that play out every day as marine wildlife is caught and killed as bycatch in the California Drift Gillnet fishery. These images were obtained by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project through the Freedom of Information Act from NOAA.

Tuna Surprise: Mercury in School Tuna

A new study released today warns schools that they may be serving tuna that is hazardous to children’s health. The Tuna Surprise report, released by health advocacy groups Mercury Policy Project (MPP) and Clean Water Action, examined the mercury levels of canned tuna sold to schools and assessed children’s exposure from the canned meat.

Canned tuna is the largest source of methylmercury in the average American diet and accounts for nearly one-third of total exposure to the toxic mercury compound, the report said.

Study Indicates that High Mercury in Fish Cancels Health Benefits from Omega 3s

A new study indicates that Omega-3 fatty acids and mercury, both found in fish, appear to have opposing affects on cardiac health and risk of myocardial infarction.

This study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at data from more than 1,600 men from Sweden and Finland. Men with high levels of mercury in their body had an increased risk of heart attacks, while those with a high concentration of omega-3s had a lower risk.

Got Mercury Files Lawsuit with the FDA to Protect Americans From Mercury in Fish

SAN FRANCISCO— Environmental and consumer organizations filed a lawsuit today challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s failure to implement stricter standards to protect the public from mercury in seafood. The lawsuit seeks a response to a 2011 petition for rules requiring seafood sellers to post signs about the danger of mercury in fish, improved health advisories for people most at-risk from mercury exposure and more stringent mercury limits for FDA-approved seafood.

Can the Tuna in Food Drive Donations

Donations of food are being collected across the nation through food drives for families in need.  Canned tuna is a common item being donated

Canned tuna fails mercury test

When researchers at the University of Las Vegas tested mercury levels in canned tuna they were in for a surprise. Of the 300 canned

Purchase a Copy of Diagnosis Mercury

Click here to purchase your copy of the book “Diagnosis Mercury” by San Francisco physician Dr. Jane Hightower today – and benefit the Sea

Mercury in Fish Awareness During Lent

Mercury in Fish Awareness During Lent February 17, 2010 marks the beginning of Lent, a religious tradition for many people of Christian faith. During

Mercury in fish

Matt Chumchal, associate professor of biology at Texas Christian University discussed in lecture the potential causes and consequences of Mercury  contamination. Click here to

Mercury in every stream and fish

A new study adds to the extensive evidence that mercury is prevalent in waterways and fish across America due to mercury emissions from coal-fired

Mercury in Oceans on the Rise

A new study has been released that suggests mercury levels are on the rise in the Pacific ocean.  This could mean more methylmercury –

CBS5 Tests Canned Tuna for Mercury

CBS5 reporter Sue Kwon conducted her own mercury experiment by eating a can of tuna for 20 days straight. See the concerning results of

Mercury in Fish Poisons Broadway Actor

Variety Magazine has reported that Jeremy Piven will abruptly end his run in Broadway’s “Speed-the-Plow,” after missing Tuesday evening’s performance and a Wednesday matinee

New USDA Food Pyramid Puts Children at Risk

Recommendations directly contradict Mercury Advisory San Francisco, CA – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its new food pyramid earlier this week, with

Morton’s Seafood Restaurant Chain Drops Swordfish From Menu

San Francisco, CA – In another victory for public health, Morton’s Steakhouse of New York has removed swordfish from its menu. Morton’s move marks the second major American restaurant chain to remove swordfish from its menu in just over a year. In the Fall of 2003, Red Lobster removed swordfish from its menu as a result of a national campaign calling for its removal due to high levels of mercury.

Reducing Mercury Exposure from Seafood- Media Advisory

San Francisco- Today, coinciding with a new report released by Greenpeace showing elevated levels of mercury in 21% of American women of child-bearing age, the Sea Turtle Restoration Project is making three simple recommendations that could reduce or eliminate serious human health hazards caused by mercury in seafood.

Contaminated Swordfish Found in California Grocery Stores

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.

State of California Sues Tuna Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Yesterday, the California Attorney General sued three of the biggest canned tuna companies under Proposition 65, California’s consumer right-to-know law. The lawsuit was filed in the San Francisco Superior Court lawsuit against Tri-Union Seafoods, maker of Chicken of the Sea; Del Monte Foods, maker of Starkist; and Bumble Bee Seafoods, maker of Bumble Bee.

FDA Advisory Fails to Protect Children

San Francisco, CA– According to its own data, the FDA’s new consumer advisory released today will actually put women and children at serious risk from mercury poisoning. The FDA advisory specifically suggests that it is safe “to eat up to 6 ounces of albacore tuna per week, which, by its own data, is known to contain three times as much mercury on average as chunk light tuna. Environmentalists are calling on the FDA to remove albacore tuna from the list of safe seafood and to require warning signs at seafood counters across the country.

Online Mercury Calculator Released

Website Gives Consumers Important Mercury Consumption Information
San Francisco– A California-based nonprofit organization today released an easy-to-use online seafood mercury calculator (http://www.gotmercury.org ) to help consumers make informed choices about their seafood consumption. The calculator allows consumers to calculate what their blood mercury levels would be from eating mercury–contaminated seafood and compare it to values that are considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Agencies Urged to Protect Californians from Mercury

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, a group of 12 environmental and public health organizations submitted a formal Petition to the California Department of Health Services (DHS) urging the state to widely release a public health advisory and to take action to educate Californians about the dangers of consuming mercury-contaminated seafood.

Sea Turtles Take to the Streets to Protest Mercury in Swordfish

Swordfishing is a Threat to Human Health and Leatherback Sea Turtles
Chanting “it’s not too late to get swordfish off your plate,” about 50 people of all ages dressed in colorful turtle costumes marched through the busy streets of Fishermen’s Wharf in San Francisco on Saturday, October 25th, 2003.