Follow-Up: Lawsuit Filed to Protect Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Written by on January 9, 2013 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law, Sea Turtles
Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). Photo © OCEANA.

Yesterday, conservation groups filed a lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for their failure to protect critical habitat for threatened loggerhead sea turtles.

At the beginning of December, Amanda Keledjian, a marine biologist with Oceana, wrote a great guest post for MST about The Center for Biological Diversity, The Turtle Island Restoration Network and Oceana‘s intention to sue the NMFS and the FWS. Now, the lawsuit has been filed and decisions will (hopefully) be made.

“The impacts of Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Debbie have made clear that healthy coastal beaches are important — both for humans and for nesting sea turtles. Critical habitat will help ensure thoughtful coastal development in the face of sea-level rise and will help leave a legacy of stable shores for future generations of people and turtles,” said Jaclyn Lopez, a Florida attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

In 2011, loggerheads gained protection under the Endangered Species Act as nine distinct populations. Now, more than a year later, no decisions have been made about protecting their habitats.

“The Endangered Species Act is a safety net for imperiled species like loggerhead sea turtles, but the federal government has failed in its duty to protect the areas these sea turtles call home,” said Beth Lowell, campaign director at Oceana.

“Only by protecting the regions vital to their survival can these populations recover,” she continued.

“While awaiting the protections they deserve, loggerhead sea turtles continue to die, entangled in nets or hooked on longlines for swordfish and tuna,” said Teri Shore, program director at Turtle Island Restoration Network

To learn more about logger heads and the lawsuit, check out some of these links:

Loggerhead turtle trapped in a longline.

Loggerhead turtle trapped in a longline. Photo © OCEANA.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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