Protect Pacific Sea Turtles - Halt the Hawaii Swordfish Expansion
DENOUNCE THE U.S. DECISION TO INCREASE SEA TURTLE DEATHS IN HAWAII SWORDFISH FISHERY Tell President Obama and NOAA Chief Jane Lubchenco to reverse their decision to remove all limits on deadly longline hooks that snare sea turtles. Send them a letter via email or better yet, write a hand-written letter by snail mail and copy your Congressional representatives.
Claiming that sea turtles can survive hooking in the mouth, fins and flippers on longlines set by the Hawaii-based swordfish fleet, the U. S. government has issued weak new fishing regulations taking affect in January 2010 that will:
- Triple the number of Pacific loggerhead sea turtle caught on longlines every year
- Remove all limits on the number of hooks to 4 million or more per year
- Allow near-extinct Pacific leatherback sea turtles to continue to be caught and killed in the fishery. Read more about the history of this wasteful, harmful fishery.
“I’m shocked that President Obama who is from Hawaii will allow more sea turtles to die in this wasteful fishery,” said Teri Shore, Program Director for Turtle Island Restoration Network, a non-profit that has been demanding better protections for sea turtles from industrial fisheries. “Every Pacific leatherback and loggerhead that we lose to a longline is a direct threat to the species’ survival and recovery from the brink of extinction.”
“The US government is going to allow even more sea turtles to be injured and killed to provide US consumers with swordfish, a product that is tainted with high levels of mercury. This is what we experienced and learned to expect from the Bush Administration, but we ‘hoped’ for something better from the Obama administration. It appears the fishing industry is still callsing the shots when it comes to protecting oceans and human health,” said Todd Steiner, biologist and Executive Director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.