Environmental Groups Press Mexican Gov't for More Protection for Sea Turtles
Agencia EFE
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February 17, 2015

Pacific Loggerhead Turtles: In Whose Hands? Because fisheries bycatch off the Baja California peninsula is currently the greatest documented threat to the critically endangered North Pacific loggerhead turtle, the future of this ocean- and culture-connecting migratory species is primarily in the hands of Mexican fishers. Ironically, it is difficult for many of Baja California's halibut and shark fishers to understand that loggerhead turtles are endangered because they can catch up to twelve turtles in a single day. (hoytpeckham)

The Mexican government should immediately impose regulations on the fishing industry in Baja California Sur state's Gulf of Ulloa to avoid U.S. penalties over the deaths of loggerhead sea turtles and take measures to protect the endangered species, two environmental groups said.

A U.S. government decision to ban Mexican fish products would have dire economic consequences for Mexico, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, or CEMDA, and Defenders of Wildlife said in a statement.

"That is why it is essential for the Mexican government to prepare and implement regulations for the fishing industry in the region quickly and effectively," the environmental groups said.

The United States postponed until May certifying Mexico's compliance with agreements to protect sea turtles.

Mexico's failure to take action could lead to commercial penalties of at least $400 million due to the high mortality rates among loggerheads in the Gulf of Ulloa.

See the original at Fox News

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