Posted by Debra Worley - email
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A well known turtle hospital has plans to sue both the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission over violations of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act.
Click here to read Sec. 9 of the ESA
An attorney for the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center said the hospital believes the NCDMF and the NCMFC are violating the act by licensing the use of gill nets.
A gill net is designed to lay on the sea floor and has mesh openings sized so that a fish can swim into it, but not pass all the way through. If the fish tries to back out, the net will catch on its gills.
The nets are typically placed in shallow waters, where sea turtles live. When the turtles come in contact with the net, their head or flippers can get caught.
The marine fisheries have 60 days to stop the use of gill nets or the Beasley Center will pursue action in federal court.