Environmental group to sue over sea turtle protections

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FILE – In this Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 file photo, Dr. Bob MacLean, Audubon Institute senior veterinarian, releases a sea turtle that had previously been impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, back into the Gulf of Mexico, 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Ten years after the nation’s biggest offshore oil spill fouled its waters, the Gulf of Mexico sparkles in the sunlight and its fish are safe to eat. But scientists who have spent $500 million dollars from BP researching the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster have found much to be concerned about. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An environmental group says it will take the National Marine Fisheries Service to court over reductions in plans to keep endangered and threatened sea turtles from drowning in inshore shrimp nets off of eight states.

The fisheries service in late 2019 scaled back plans to make inshore shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic put turtle escape hatches into their nets.  

Under U.S. law, people and groups planning challenges to actions taken under the Endangered Species Act must give the government 60 days notice.

That’s what the Center for Biological Diversity is doing.

A fisheries service spokeswoman says the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.

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