Administration says new rule wasn’t warranted
In this July 9, 2014 file photo, an adult humpback whale breaches in Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska. On Monday, April 20, 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said in a release that it is proposing removing most of the humpback whale population from the Endangered Species Act, announcing that protection and restoration efforts have led to an increase in humpbacks in many areas. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire via AP)
The Trump administration has thrown out a new rule meant to keep endangered whales and sea turtles from getting tangled in mile-long West Coast fishing nets.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced Monday it was cancelling the pending limit on the West Coast’s sword-fishing industry — even though the fishing industry itself proposed the new rule.
The regulation was designed to cut the numbers of humpback whales, leatherback sea turtles and other creatures that accidentally get tangled in long, drifting nets.
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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 are getting hurt by the nets.
The federal fisheries service says it decided the new rule wasn’t warranted.
Environmental groups say it’s one of the first such Trump administration rollbacks targeting endangered-species protections off the West Coast.