Trump Administration Tosses New Rule Protecting Whales Despite Support From The Fishing Industry For The Rule

220px-Sperm_whale_podPresident Donald Trump has pledged to reduce red tape and regulations for businesses in the United States.  It is a worthy goal, but it has led to some curious decisions.  For example, the Administration just tossed  a new rule intended to limit the numbers of endangered whales and sea turtles getting caught in fishing nets.  This rule however was supported by the fishing industry.  Thus, this was a rare case where conservationists and corporations agreed. It was the Trump Administration that did not agree.  Not only was the rule proposed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council had proposed the new regulation in 2015, but the federal government has been implementing the plan.

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it no longer considered the rule to be needed despite its impact on a threatened species off the Pacific coast

Leatherback_sea_turtle_Tinglar,_USVI_(5839996547)The industry said that it supported the rule to reduce the killing of humpback whales, leatherback sea turtles and other large creatures that accidentally become tangled in mile-long nets. These nets are set adrift by commercial swordfish fishermen overnight off California and Oregon.  Under the rule, if too many whales died, drifts nets could be stopped for two fishing seasons.

The regulation allowed for shutting down swordfish fishing with the drift nets for up to two fishing seasons if too many of the endangered animals were getting caught in the nets.

The change will increase the losses of endangered fin, humpback, and sperm whales, short-fin pilot whales and common bottlenose dolphins, as well as endangered leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles and green sea turtles.

21 thoughts on “Trump Administration Tosses New Rule Protecting Whales Despite Support From The Fishing Industry For The Rule

  1. I just came in from the dock and my sea turtles were complaining. All I could ordain was the word Trump and Nets. Now I know what they were bitching about. I will tell them to stay in the harbor and not go out to sea.

  2. Squeaky is on the money. Fine research by the girl reporter. Mr. Turley should realize that an article lacking in due diligence is less than zero: it misinforms or misleads. Furthermore, it takes a nick out of the author’s credibility, a nowadays scarce resource of which Mr. Turley possesses more than average. I hate to see it squandered.

  3. OK, sooo here is the rest of the story!

    The NOAA analysis concluded that the costs of the protections far outweighed the benefits and that the fishing industry had implemented measures that greatly reduced the deaths and injury of protected marine mammals.

    The precautions included better training for skippers of fishing boats, sound warnings or pingers attached to fishing nets and wider openings at the top of nets that gave whales, dolphins and turtles a better chance to escape.

    NOAA statistics indicate that the deaths and injuries to protected whales declined from more than 50 in 1992 to no more than one or two a year by 2015. During the same period, the numbers for common dolphins steadily declined from almost 400 to only a few.

    Meanwhile, the figures show that the deaths and injuries of endangered Pacific leatherback turtles dropped from 17 in 1993 to no more than one a year by 2015.

    “We’ve recognized that the fishery has done a lot to clean up its act,” said Milstein, of NOAA.

    He added that the Marine Mammals Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act still apply and that protection areas for loggerhead turtles and leatherbacks that are closed to gill-net fishing have been set up off the coasts of Oregon and California.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-trump-marine-mammals-20170612-story.html

    Sooo, once again we have a Negative Trump headline, that upon research is found to be severely lacking in an actual factual basis.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    • Thanks for the link, Squeeky. The is quite a different scenario than what was in the headline. If NOAA and the NMFS do not support the law, was Trump supposed to defy them?

      What matters more than “feeling good” about laws that “sound good” is the actual outcome – protection of marine mammals and other non target species. The focus seems to be more on emotion than outcome.

      I am an environmentalist, and I do not care for drift nets because of the collateral damage. But it’s hard to argue with the success of the numbers.

      It would be great if someone could invent an audio deflector that would make whales and dolphins avoid the net.

  4. Say what you will, but it is a pretty good bet the whales and turtles are not going to complain.

    Yeah, another Trump victory. Decisive leadership, fewer regs and no complaints. Does it get any better?

    And, unemployment which was high among green sea turtles has not increased at all since Trump took office – yet another victory.

    And as Trump introduces his green sea turtle stew initiative, the administration is confident the number of unemployed green see turtles will decline. Yeah, more victories in the near future.

    • OK, get off your soapbox. The boards are creaking, and you are going to fall thru it and bust your a$$. Plus, lose some dang weight there, Big Fat, and then maybe you won’t risk your life by standing on wooden furniture and boxes!

      Then, read what I just wrote below, and apologize to the Trump Administration!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      • “Then, read what I just wrote below, and apologize to the Trump Administration!”

        Oh, I have confidence in the Trump administration. I think I will reserve judgment for just a bit longer because I am sure they will make up for lost ground real soon now.

        I wonder which will turn up first, that billion dollar infrastructure initiative or support for the ‘incredibly well crafted’ house health care bill, or maybe that green sea turtle stew initiative.

        I can’t wait to see the victories in the coming days and weeks.

        I will be watching and cheering.

        Isn’t it amazing how popular the Trump administration is – among the cabinet members who are so, so proud to server under his exalted leadership – and not the least bit reluctant to say so right there in front of the cameras?

        You would almost think Trump had a mandate from …. well … heaven.

  5. OK, sooo something doesn’t add up here. First we read:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that it no longer considered the rule to be needed despite its impact on a threatened species off the Pacific coast.

    Then we read,

    The change will increase the losses of endangered fin, humpback, and sperm whales, short-fin pilot whales and common bottlenose dolphins, as well as endangered leatherback sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles and green sea turtles.

    So why, if the NMFS says the rule isn’t needed, do we still get that there is going to be a lot of losses??? Isn’t the real story not, “Gotcha, Trump!” but instead, “What is the NMFS’s reason for saying the rule is no longer needed.”???

    Because if the NMFS has a good reason, then maybe Trump isn’t doing anything bad, after all.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  6. Is any group doing anything to fight back against this? Congress of course can overturn it, buy it will take more than ineffectual bitching.

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