Endangered leatherback sea turtles migrating from an Indonesian beach to feed on jellyfish off the Pacific coast have one less obstacle to overcome.
NOAA has denied issuance of the special exempted fishing permit required for gillnet boats to operate in an area of coast stretching from central California to central Oregon, during the time critically endangered leatherback sea turtles are feeding there.
Commercial fishing operations kill an estimated 10,000 sea turtles annually while harming an additional 334,000. Sea turtles are often drowned when they are inadvertently caught in gillnets.
This is a huge victory for the oceans, as scientists have observed an average of just 178 leatherbacks each year, feeding off this stretch of the Pacific Coast.