Group Sues Trump NMFS For Issuing Fishing Permits That Harm Sea Turtles

"An environmental group sued the Trump administration on Thursday for issuing longline fishing permits known to ensnare endangered sea turtles off California’s coast.

In its suit, the Center for Biological Diversity charged that by issuing the permits in May, the government violated multiple environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Industrial longline fishing has pushed sea turtles toward extinction, while also decimating seabirds and marine mammals. California has prohibited longlines for decades. The Fisheries Service has prohibited them since 2004. Yet this year the Fisheries Service has authorized longlines in waters off California currently protected for leatherback conservation,” the lawsuit reads.

The Trump administration on May 8 issued permit exemptions to two vessels allowing them to use longlines 50 to 200 miles off California’s coast for two years. The National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that “the impacts of the [longline exempted fishing permits] are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.”"

Miranda Green reports for The Hill June 6, 2019.

Source: The Hill, 06/07/2019