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More Seabirds lost to Longline Fishing, Group Says

(From honoluluadvertiser.com)- Dozens of seabirds and other marine life have been caught and killed as by-catch in Hawai”i”s longline fisheries, new figures from the Sea Turtle Restoration Project show. From April 1 to June 30, 25 Black-footed Albatrosses were killed in deep-set longline fisheries. In addition to seabirds, longline fisheries may have caught as many as three humpback whales, seven false killer whales, three Pygmy Sperm whales, and three shortfinned pilot whales so far this year, the organization said. Three spotted dolphins, four Risso”s dolphins, four leatherback sea turtles and three green sea turtles are also among this year”s casualties, according to the press release.

Mike Milne of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project said that expansion of longline fishing must be either denied or delayed to save these animals.

“If we allow rapid growth, longline fishing will empty our skies of seabirds just like it has stripped our oceans of millions of sea turtles, sharks and marine mammals over the past decade,” he said.

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