Victory | January 10, 2009

Protecting sea turtles from longlines

After months of pressure from Oceana and other groups, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council initiated a six-month emergency rule prohibiting longline fishing gear in waters where sea turtles forage, effective as soon as possible. According to recent government data, nearly 1,000 sea turtles were caught by bottom longlines in this fishery in just 18 months, eight times the federally authorized limit. The U.S. government has determined that every species of sea turtle in the United States is threatened or endangered by extinction.