Center for Biological Diversity: Protect Endangered Sea Turtles From Longline Fishing

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Via the Center for Biological Diversity:

Protect Endangered Sea Turtles From Longline Fishing

The federal government is proposing to allow longline fishing for swordfish in the waters off California and Oregon. Longline fishing, in which a single vessel can lay out more than 60 miles of line and 1,000 hooks at a time, is one of the most destructive fishing practices ever invented. In addition to depleting the oceans of the targeted swordfish and tuna, longlines hook, entangle, and kill tens of thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals and sharks. The critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle has been reduced from more than 100,000 nesting females to fewer than 3,000 over the past 25 years, mostly because of longlining.

In 2004, following a successful lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, swordfish longlining was banned in the waters off the West Coast. Now, under pressure from the fishing industry, the National Marine Fisheries Service is proposing to allow an experimental longline fishery in these waters.

Please let the Fisheries Service know that you oppose the introduction of this deadly fishing gear to the West Coast.

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