State Commercial Fishing Groups Want Changes

RALEIGH (AP) - Commercial fishing groups want environmental regulators to expand their enforcement of the Endangered Species Act to cover recreational hook-and-line anglers who hurt endangered sea turtles.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that the North Carolina Fisheries Association and the Carteret County Fisherman's Association are making that request in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Raleigh. The groups say commercial fishermen are the only ones subject to regulation in this regard.

Defendants include U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzger and John Skvarla, state Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources.

The Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina represents recreational anglers. Executive director David Sneed said the group's attorneys and board members were studying the lawsuit but weren't prepared to comment on it.

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