Protect Pacific Sea Turtles from Swordfish Hooks

Dear President Obama and NOAA Chief Lubchenco,

Please immediately halt the expansion of the deadly Hawaii longline fishery for swordfish that will allow more sea turtles to be accidentally captured or killed.

The weakening of protections for sea turtles in the fishery contradicts findings from your own scientists at National Marine Fisheries Service earlier this year that Pacific loggerheads are at risk of extinction due in large part to capture in longline fisheries. They are now listed as endangered.

More than 50 percent of what’s caught in the Hawaii longline fishery is not swordfish, but sea turtles, humpback whales, false killer whales, seabirds and vulnerable fish species including sharks and big eye and yellow fin tuna.

A federal court previously closed the fishery down for four years due to excessive capture of sea turtles, but reopened in 2004 with requirements to use experimental circle hook technology and special bait that the government claimed would drastically reduce the injury and mortality of sea turtles.

However, even with the modified gear, the fishery was closed down early in March 2006 and 2011.

Fewer than 5,000 nesting western Pacific leatherbacks remain and only 1,500 North Pacific loggerheads still nest. With declines of more than 90 percent for these leatherbacks and 80 percent decline of the loggerheads, there is no scientific justification to increase the death toll for these species as they swim across the ocean.

Even worse, half the U.S. population - women and children - are warned by the FDA to never eat swordfish due to high mercury levels. That's why Americans are eating less swordfish than ever before. We don't need it and don't want more.

President Obama, please reverse this terrible action by your federal fisheries agency before the swordfish fleet, with its millions more longline hooks, makes an irreversible impact on sea turtles in USA waters offshore of your birthplace in Hawaii.
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This petition has a goal of 10000 signatures
1-25 of 649 signatures
Number Date Name Location
649 Thu Apr 03 10:52:12 EDT 2014 The Ungers easton, PA
648 Thu Apr 03 07:58:42 EDT 2014 Daniel Tham Singapore, ot
647 Wed Apr 02 18:57:24 EDT 2014 Jenna Miles Dartmouth, NS
646 Wed Apr 02 18:00:14 EDT 2014 Alessandro Raganato Venice, CA
645 Mon Mar 10 20:39:48 EDT 2014 michael baird chico, CA mike baird
644 Wed Mar 05 14:14:57 EST 2014 Faith Strailey Quincy, CA
643 Wed Mar 05 14:11:42 EST 2014 Faith Strailey Quincy, CA
642 Mon Feb 03 14:01:16 EST 2014 Faith Strailey Quincy, CA
641 Mon Feb 03 13:59:06 EST 2014 Faith Strailey Quincy, CA
640 Sun Jan 19 16:48:21 EST 2014 Julie Sasaoka Concord, CA
639 Sat Jan 18 06:22:09 EST 2014 Sarah Sivro Geneva, ot
638 Fri Jan 17 02:14:35 EST 2014 KRISTA TACKETT Louisville, MS
637 Fri Jan 17 02:14:32 EST 2014 KRISTA TACKETT Louisville, MS
636 Fri Jan 17 01:50:59 EST 2014 Lily Lewis Lennox Head, AL
635 Thu Jan 16 20:43:39 EST 2014 Tereza Cristina Marins São Paulo, ot
634 Fri Jan 03 23:22:10 EST 2014 Jim Phillips Sonoma, CA
633 Sun Dec 29 16:44:52 EST 2013 G Burton, G Boone, + family Delaware, OH
632 Thu Dec 12 21:15:03 EST 2013 Sandra Couch Naperville, IL
631 Sat Dec 07 02:03:13 EST 2013 E K N.Chelny, ot
630 Fri Dec 06 19:48:52 EST 2013 Merlene Stuerzer-Rhodes Broken Arrow, OK
629 Fri Dec 06 19:48:28 EST 2013 Merlene Stuerzer-Rhodes Broken Arrow, OK
628 Fri Dec 06 13:12:50 EST 2013 Ingrid Fuerstenau Münster, ot
627 Thu Dec 05 13:02:19 EST 2013 Susan Esposito Staten Island, NY
626 Thu Dec 05 11:44:15 EST 2013 Tonnja berry burbank, CA
625 Thu Dec 05 11:43:32 EST 2013 Tonnja berry burbank, CA
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