US cancels new protection for endangered West Coast whales

SAN FRANCISCO - 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 canceling 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.

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.

© 2018 Associated Press


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