The petitions comprise part of two letters of intent to file suit against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to force regulatory measures on the shrimp fishery by several green groups led by the Centre for Biological Diversity and Oceana.
Soon after Oceana released its report, the SSA met with Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr Larry Robinson, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab, NMFS Southeast Regional Administrator Roy Crabtree and several other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries officials, as part of its wide-ranging effort to defend the shrimp fishery.
The SSA rebutted that the real cause of the turtle deaths is last year’s BP oil spill disaster in the Mexican Gulf.
“These ENGO’s seem to believe that it is just an incredible coincidence that an unusual number of sea turtles are showing up dead on Gulf coast beaches after the worst oil spill in the history of man,” the SSA stated.
“They barely mention the historic volumes of spilled oil or toxic dispersants. They ignore the at-sea burns and the massive dredging project to build shoreline berms. They just want to hang the shrimp fishery,” the SSA continued.
The Alliance warned that the situation constitutes a very serious threat to thousands of jobs throughout the Gulf region.