U.S. Sued To Curb Deaths Of Sea Turtles By Shrimping Industry

On Wednesday, federal regulators were sued by environmentalists who are seeking to curb the death of almost 53,000 sea turtles on a yearly basis. The environmentalists wants the federal regulators to put in place stronger protection measures that will prevent thousands of sea turtles from being caught in commercial shrimp nets off southeastern U.S.

The law suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service has been filed by Oceana, an ocean conservation group, who wants the agency to pay more attention on the rues that they have enacted and also limit the number of small turtles which can be caught and killed by the shrimping industry of Southeast Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

A statement that was issued out by Eric Bilsky, a lawyer for Oceana, stated that, "If people knew that their order of shrimp cocktail came with a side of government-authorized sea turtle, they would be horrified."

According to the lawsuit that was filed by Oceana, an estimated 500,000 leatherback, green, loggerhead, hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles are injured in some way on a yearly basis because of shrimp fishing gear. It went on further to state that the animals have been listed as Endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The lawsuit itself was filed in the U.S. District Court based in Washington and it claims that shrimp fleets are the cause of many turtle deaths than all other Atlantic fisheries combined.
The lawsuit by Oceana comes a year after an analysis which was issued out by fisheries service indicated that the recovery or survival of any of the known five imperiled species is not jeopardized by the death toll of sea turtle. The analysis was dubbed biological opinion.
 

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