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Turtle rules worry fishermen

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High Five
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing a 70,000-square-mile area of critical habitat along the West Coast, in response to a petition from conservation groups seeking further protection for the leatherback sea turtle.

But Oregon fishermen worry that the new rules could affect their operations.

What effect that designation could have on people who use the ocean in Oregon is unclear, because the turtles’ already protected status means that fishermen have to make sure their practices don’t unduly and further endanger the reptiles.

The establishment of habitat, said Steve Stone, a marine biologist with NOAA, is mostly about looking out for the jellyfish that sea turtles eat here, along with making sure any large structures placed in the ocean don’t impede the leatherbacks’ migration routes.

Read the full story at The Register-Guard.

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