NMFS May Seek Fisheries Help in Collecting Data on Sea Turtles

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Federal fishing regulators are considering a new plan that they hope will help better protect sea turtles.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering a plan to require more commercial fishermen to assist with its sea turtle program, which currently requires observers to be placed on fishing boats in some fisheries to collect data that helps minimize harm to sea turtles.

The NMSF wants to include a group of Mid-Atlantic fisheries — which uses gill nets  —in the program, next year, so that they can collect more data about accidental sea turtle catchings.

Officials with the NMSF says it will pay the direct costs for ships to carry the observers, and is accepting public comments about the new proposal until Monday, November 20th.

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