New research shows the sea turtle population is more threatened than ever. Some scientists say commercial fishing is to blame. Teams of marine scientists and wildlife advocates with the national organization Oceana are working hard to protect these creatures. New research by the organization points to the fishing industry for driving the sea turtle population to the brink of extinction. According to Oceana, fishermen's trawls are trapping turtles in their nets while gathering fish. Shrimping vessels are the only ones required to use devices allowing the turtles to escape, but Oceana says other types of fishing vessels are also to blame. To help, Oceana is petitioning the government to change the status of sea turtles from a threatened species to endangered. This will ensure better protection, and put tighter regulations on the fishing industry. The National Marine Fisheries service is working on a proposal to present to the federal government that would expand the number of fishermen who use devices to make their vessels safer for sea turtles.
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