Loggerhead Sea Turtles Need Protections Enforced

NWF calls for proper enforcement of federal regulations requiring the use of turtle excluder devices in shrimp trawling

09-16-2011 // Miles Grant
Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today its decision to list five populations of the loggerhead sea turtles as endangered. The four other populations will continue to be listed as threatened.

Now listed as endangered are loggerhead sea turtle populations in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, North Indian Ocean, North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. Still listed as threatened are loggerhead populations in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, Southeast Indo-Pacific Ocean and Southwest Indian Ocean.

Like all other sea turtles in U.S. waters, the loggerhead sea turtle continues to face tough challenges, first among them death by drowning in fishing gear due to inadequate protections and actions to save them,” said Doug Inkley, senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation. “Now is the time for proper enforcement of federal regulations requiring the use of turtle excluder devices in shrimp trawling, to avoid drowning of these endangered animals.”

As documented in a recent National Wildlife Federation report, sea turtles face danger from oil spills, coastal development, marine debris, and much more.  In the wake of the Gulf oil disaster, the National Wildlife Federation helped in efforts to move more than 10,000 sea turtle eggs away from oiled beaches and waters.

“Congress has yet to pass any laws that would strengthen oil and gas drilling regulations to help avoid another Gulf oil spill disaster, yet oil and gas drilling in the Gulf has increased to the same as level prior to the disaster,” said Doug Inkley. “It’s time for Congressional action on comprehensive legislation to protect the Gulf, including dedication of BP’s fines and penalties to restoring the Mississippi River Delta.”

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