In a move applauded by enviros, a U.S. federal judge yesterday banned swordfish boats from a 1 million square-mile area of the Pacific Ocean while the government determines whether the vessels are pushing sea turtles to extinction. The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed in February by the Center for Marine Conservation and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, accusing the feds of violating both the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by letting turtles die on hooks baited for Pacific swordfish and by failing to accurately assess fishing’s impact on turtle populations. In other news of the sea, a study by Norwegian and British conservation groups has found that tens of thousands of North Atlantic seabirds are drowned each year by the longline fishing technique.

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