Endangered leatherback sea turtles migrating from an Indonesian beach to feed on jellyfish off the Pacific coast have one less obstacle to overcome.
NOAA has denied issuance of the special exempted fishing permit required for gillnet boats to operate in an area of coast stretching from Central California to Central Oregon, during the time critically endangered leatherback sea turtles are feeding there.
The U.S. government authorizes estimated 10,000 sea turtles to be killed annually while another 334,000 may be harmed. Sea turtles are air-breathing reptiles, and they often drown when they are inadvertently caught in gillnets.
This is a huge victory for the oceans, as scientists have observed an average of just 178 leatherbacks each year, feeding off this stretch of the Pacific Coast.