Sea turtles thrived in our oceans for more than 100 million years. But in a matter of decades, human activities have sent their population into severe decline.
Along with our client and allies, we brought a series of court actions that made significant progress to ensure the enforcement of legally required safeguards for endangered sea turtles. But threats remain.
In notable cases in 2009 and 2011, Earthjustice successfully sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico from deadly longline fishing. The agency had known for years that longline vessels were catching Gulf turtles by the hundreds — levels that greatly exceed the allowed limit — yet still failed to fulfill its legal responsibilities to protect sea turtles.
The legal actions forced the agency to finally take concrete steps to preserve the population of imperiled Gulf turtles.
We continue to fight for the sea turtles’ future, including to prevent thousands of sea turtles from drowning in fishing nets each year, when proven, cost-effective solutions already exist.
Our Clients & Partners include: Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Defenders of Wildlife, Florida Wildlife Federation, Healthy Gulf, Sea Turtle Conservancy
Work by Earthjustice’s Mid-Pacific Regional Office, Oceans Program