Petition Seeks California Endangered Species Protections for Leatherback Sea Turtles

OAKLAND,Calif.— The Center for Biological Diversity and Turtle Island Restoration Network filed a petition today to protect leatherback sea turtles under the California Endangered Species Act.

The Pacific leatherback population has declined by 90 percent over the past 40 years, mostly because longline and gillnet fishing for tuna and swordfish entangles and drowns these large, ancient, soft-shelled turtles.

Today’s petition to the California Fish and Game Commission follows the groups’ legal victory last month, when a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s move to revive longline fishing off California’s coast. The federal government had banned the practice in 2004.

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Media Contacts:

Endangered Species: James Quirk, Media Specialist,, (971) 717-6411
Climate: Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director,, (415) 632-5316
Public Lands, National Monuments and Borderlands:
Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist –, (602) 320-7309
Oceans, Offshore Drilling, Arctic: Steve Jones, Media Specialist –, (415) 305-3866
Pesticides, Toxics, Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture and Environmental Health: Andy Parker, Media Specialist –, (503) 310-5569
Population, Sustainability, Renewable Energy, Endangered Species Condoms: Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist –, (520) 345-5726

Mike Stark, Communications Director,, (520) 623.5252 ext. 315
Patrick Sullivan, Deputy Communications Director,, (415) 632-5316
Russ McSpadden, Creative Media Specialist – Media Photos,

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; photo of jaguar by Robin Silver, Center for Biological Diversity