Endangered Listing For Atlantic Loggerheads Sought

The federal government has recommended an endangered-species listing for the loggerhead turtles swimming off the Atlantic Ocean coast, a decision that could have big implications for the fishing industry.

The listing was proposed Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for seven species of loggerheads.

The NOAA's fisheries division says one of the biggest threats to loggerheads is fishing gear. Environmental groups say the proposal marks a turning point for turtle protection by requiring new measures to prevent turtles from getting caught in the gear.

The proposal is open to public comment and could be in effect by summer 2011.

The slow-maturing loggerheads typically are more than 3 feet long and weigh about 250 pounds.

Just last month The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center on Topsail Island filed suit in federal court against the North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries, claiming the agency has issued permits that "have resulted in the illegal take of estimated thousands of protected sea turtles".

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  • by NT Location: Winterville on Mar 18, 2010 at 10:34 AM
    Former poster is right about agricultural and animal raising pollution. However, in response to this puts commercial fisherman out of business- I am sick of hearing it. Every coastal state with more restrictive regulations have commercial fishermen making money and feeding their families.
  • by BAN GILL NETS Location: Surf City on Mar 11, 2010 at 02:49 PM
    One more reason to ban gill nets in NC waters! I can't wait until the sea turtle hospital wins the lawsuit!
  • by Anonymous Location: Belhaven on Mar 11, 2010 at 01:07 PM
    I know it will not be popular, but changes to the current fishing laws are inevitable, in my opinion. The information I've seen indicates that other coastal states have far more restrictions on commercial fishing than NC. Can you blindly keep things the way they are because it is a way of life for a small segment of the population? What is best for everyone has to be considered at some point, does it not? Are all the other states wrong? Are not enough resources wasted for the fishing laws to at least be reviewed? I do know that it is very irritating when several times a year multiple fishing spots are blocked for days/weeks at a time by several thousand of yards of unattended fishing nets. I've seen entire islands completely encircled. At the very least, the nets should have to be monitored if they are in the water.
  • by Anonymous Location: pamlico beach on Mar 11, 2010 at 05:54 AM
    Fishing in our waters is a way of life for many people in this area. Are the turtles dying out enough to take the supporting jobs of many families in our area?
  • by john Location: pamlico on Mar 11, 2010 at 05:52 AM
    putting the commercial fishing out of business i see. well i am a commercial fisherman im not very smart in everything but im a expert in what i do and love. You just want to go throw a rod in the water and see a net and blame that on everything getting caught well the pollution in the rivers never help anything.
  • by ervin Location: sadler on Mar 11, 2010 at 05:41 AM
    i never thought an animal would come to a higher ranking then a human. If you put the commercial fisherman out of business you will be laying off thousand upon thousands of people. There needs to be more research on the turtles before jumping to conclusions.
  • by ted Location: jacksonville on Mar 11, 2010 at 04:50 AM
    does that mean we will have to stop eating them ? go to some south american countries & it is on the menu. we are just fattening them for them.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2010 at 03:27 AM
    List em. We will just have to find another way to fish without killing the turtles. Humans have no right to cause another species to go extinct. And no, i'm no tree hugger. I fish and hunt, but I do it responsibly.
  • by Jethro Bodine Location: New Bern on Mar 11, 2010 at 02:52 AM
    I don't know enough about this situation to comment or even vote on the WITN poll. Should I? Will it effect my life much? I'm just a simple caveman. But I DID switch my car insurance recently.

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