Fishing gear should be killing fewer sea turtles, not more â€“ and today we filed a complaint with the government saying just that.
Oceanaâ€™s complaint is in response to the U.S. governmentâ€™s decision in October 2010 to allow eight East Coast fisheries to harm 14 times more threatened loggerhead sea turtles â€“ raising the limit from 42 to 610.
Oceana is disputing the U.S. governmentâ€™s decision to allow these fisheries to injure and kill more loggerhead sea turtles without adequately assessing the aggregate impacts of the fisheries on this species. The fisheries harm leatherback, Kempâ€™s ridley, and green sea turtles as well, and those species also would benefit from proper assessments of the fisheriesâ€™ impacts.
Oceanaâ€™s complaint addresses eight federal fisheries, including those for monkfish and for summer flounder, scup and black sea bass, which are responsible for the highest levels of sea turtle bycatch in the region.
Oceana is calling on the U.S. to implement simple solutions to protect and restore sea turtle populations in the Atlantic, including turtle escape hatches in trawls, adopting adequate monitoring of fisheries that catch sea turtles, capping the allowable catch of sea turtles and where necessary, closing areas for fishing when and where sea turtles are present.