Under cover of all the distractions he is shoveling into the news cycles, Trump has been doing his best to defile our planet’s precious natural environment. He has expedited:
However, this week, Oceana, an ocean advocacy group, won a significant victory in the fight to protect the waters off California’s coast. They managed to push back against Trump’s attempt to cancel a landmark fishery conservation plan. The plan will place limits on the massively destructive fishing practices that are currently degrading California’s marine habitat.
The Trump administration unlawfully withdrew a plan to limit the number of whales, turtles and other marine creatures permitted to be inadvertently killed or harmed by drift gillnets used to catch swordfish off California, a federal judge has ruled.
The decision requires U.S. fisheries managers to take steps to implement the plan, which calls for placing numerical limits on the “bycatch” of bottlenose dolphins, four whale species and four sea turtle species snared in swordfish gillnets. . .
The Pacific Fishery Management Council endorsed the plan in 2015, and it was formally proposed for implementation by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service the following year.
The rule was expected to gain final approval but was abruptly withdrawn instead in June 2017 under President Donald Trump, whose Commerce Department determined the cost to the commercial fishing industry outweighed conservation benefits. . .
Drift gillnets, consisting of mile-long (1.8 km-long) strands of nylon mesh draped 200 feet (60 meters) deep in the ocean from surface floats, pose a hazard to a wide assortment of marine mammals and turtles that can become entangled and drown.
According to Oceana, the 20 vessels that make up the California drift gillnet fishery ended up discarding 61 percent of their catch from 2004 to 2017 . . .
Oceana attorney Mariel Combs told Reuters the legal finding marked a victory for marine wildlife.