Groups sue federal government over sea turtles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A half dozen conservation groups have
sued the federal government, claiming the agency that oversees the
Gulf of Mexico fishery is violating the Endangered Species Act by
failing to protect threatened sea turtles.

The groups claim a common type of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico that uses long, hooked lines to catch grouper and other fish is killing hundreds of the rare turtles every year. They want the season stopped until a better plan is in place.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Tallahassee
by Earthjustice on behalf six groups, including Defenders of
Wildlife and the Florida Wildlife Federation. They are suing the
National Marine Fisheries Service.

The agency was not immediately prepared to comment on the lawsuit.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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