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< Beachapedia:Factoid‎ | 2002‎ | 07

NMFS Wants to Allow Turtle Killing in Hawaii

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project, Center for Biological Diversity, and The Ocean Conservancy, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a lawsuit challenging an experimental swordfish longline fishery that has been authorized to kill 117 threatened and endangered sea turtles. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has proposed to issue permits for an experimental fishing program that would allow longline fishing in an area where the agency had banned longlining to protect turtles. The suit charges that the experimental fishing program duplicates previous research and would kill the very turtles it is intended to help safeguard. "NMFS is trying to create a loophole to allow swordfish fishing to continue, even after its own scientists have warned that the so called experiment is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the turtles," said Paul Achitoff, Earthjustice attorney for the plaintiffs. (Reported by the Environmental News Service, June 28, 2002)

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