Image by David Mark from Pixabay

In a follow-on story, a group of conservation groups have sued to remove the Trump regulations on sea turtles. This is despite the fact that these regulations are being looked at by the Biden administration.

The groups hope President Joe Biden’s administration will change the rules, but the possible revisions outlined recently may not go far enough, said Jaclyn Lopez of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the three groups. “We’re hopeful they will do something and do something soon, but we’re not going to sit back and wait,” she said. “This is decades in the making and our patience has run out.” “We are aware of this filing and are reviewing it,” Allison Garrett, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries service, said in an email.

The current rules hurt five endangered and threatened species of turtles. NOAA Fisheries is reviewing the rules prior to implementing them.

Lopez said her group, Defenders of Wildlife and Turtle Island Restoration Network want NOAA Fisheries to return to rules it proposed in 2016. Those would require escape hatches for sea turtles in three kinds of inshore shrimp trawls, pulled by boats of all sizes. The Trump administration required them only on the most common sort, called skimmer nets, and only on those pulled by boats at least 40 feet (12 meters) long. Earthjustice filed the suit in federal court in the District of Columbia. “We don’t feel it’ll be too heavy a lift,” since the nets were thoroughly evaluated before the 2016 proposal, Lopez said. “They’ve already done the legwork. We’re hopeful it has the political will this time,” she said.

The change in administration gives hope.

Suit Seeks Turtle Protection
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