[Fwd: COMMENTS NEEDED TO PROTECT PACIFIC LEATHERBACKS BY 1/29/01]
Charles.Wahle at noaa.gov
Mon Jan 22 13:06:13 EST 2001
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: COMMENTS NEEDED TO PROTECT PACIFIC LEATHERBACKS BY 1/29/01
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 08:35:09 -0800
From: Todd Steiner <tsteiner at igc.org>
Reply-To: tsteiner at igc.org
To: cmpan at ucdavis.edu
We would appreciate it if you would post this Action Alert.
Comments Needed Before January 29, 2001 to Protect
Critically Endangered Pacific Leatherback and Loggerhead Sea Turtles!
The draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Pelagic
of the Western region is now accepting comments regarding the Hawaii
longline fishery up until January 29, 2001. The complete document (500+
pages) can be found online at http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/piao/deisdocs.htm
can be requested by phone (808 973 2937).
The public hearings are all occurring in Hawaii and the fishing industry
has made a concerted effort to have their economic concerns heard. The
turtles need an equal voice and we are asking you to take this
to comment on behalf of these endangered species. (If you can, re-post
other lists and send to friends and colleagues too).
This new EIS was precipitated by a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice Legal
Defense Fund on behalf of Turtle Island Restoration Network and the
for Marine Conservation over the excessive take of sea turtles by the
Hawaii longline fleet.
Nine alternatives fishery management actions are presented in the DEIS.
are in agreement with National Marine Fisheries Service and are
the objectives they have presented as their "Preferred Alternative 7."
Specifically this alternative is designed to reduce take of leatherbacks
76%, loggerhead takes by 100%, green turtle takes by 85% and olive
takes by 42%. This is accomplished by eliminating deep set fishing
targets swordfish), and by a two-month seasonal closure. The swordfish
fishery captures leatherbacks at a rate 10 times higher than the tuna
NMFS has also left the door open for an "experimental fishery" for
swordfish (called Option A). This so-called "experiment" can
INCREASE takes of sea turtles, according to the DEIS. We are opposed to
"experimental fishery" in Hawaii, and believe there are a number of
fisheries where similar experiments could be conducted without opening a
new loophole that could increase turtle takes in the Hawaii fishery.
Examples of other fisheries where such experiments could be conducted
include Mexico and several in Central America.
Please send the following comments (or write your own) to: Dr. Charles
Karnella, Administrator, Pacific Islands Area Office, SW Region, 1601
Kapiolani Blvd., Rm. 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814. They can be faxed to
at (808) 973-2941.
Or of you prefer, you can email them to seaturtles at igc.org and we will
print them out and fax them for you (saving you the cost of the long
distance fax call).
Dr. Charles Karnella
Administrator, Pacific Islands Area Office, SW Region
1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Rm. 1110
Honolulu, HI 96814
RE: Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Pelagic Fisheries
the Western region regarding the Hawaii longline fishery.
Dear Dr. Karnella:
As I believe you are aware, Pacific leatherbacks are critically
and without significant measures to reduce their take in commercial
fisheries, they may go extinct in 5-10 years (Spotila, et. al. 2000.
I am writing to express my support for the objectives listed for
Alternative 7." Specifically I support efforts that reduce take of
leatherbacks by at least 76%, loggerhead takes by 100%, green turtle
by 85% and olive ridley takes by 42%.
I am opposed to any "experimental fishery" that could increase
take of sea turtles above the proposed take levels rates described in
Preferred Alternative 7. The desire for progress in developing
measures through an experimental fishery can not be justified in the
Hawaiian fishery. The rate of turtle capture necessary to obtain
statistically significant results would be unacceptably high considering
the critically endangered status of these turtles.
[Your title, address]
SEA TURTLE RESTORATION PROJECT
POB 400 * Forest Knolls, CA 94933 USA
PH. 415 488 0370 * FAX 415 488 0372
EMAIL tsteiner at igc.org
Visit our WEB site www.seaturtles.org
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