Friday, May 23, 2008

Protect Pacific Leatherbacks from Longline Fishing!

My mom LOVES sea turtles. She told me about this issue today and it saddens me to think that all the leatherbacks are being killed for no reason. Please send a letter today to help save these amazing animals from extinction.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is once again considering a permit to allow swordfish longlinie fishing along the U.S. west coast in a critical habitat area for the critically endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle. California banned longline fishing within their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - the distance 3,200 miles from shore in 1977 due to the high by-catch of marine species by longlines. In 2004, this ban was extended by the federal government to include the entire U.S. west coast.

Longline fishing is a highly indiscriminate fishing method in which 1000's of hooks are deployed from a main line that can be up to 60 miles in length. This results in the entanglement and drowning of numerous marine species including sea turtles, whales, dolphins, sea lions, seabirds, sharks, billfish and other fish species. The proposed permit will undermine successful conservation measures protecting the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle, declining tuna stocks, and other marine wildlife.

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