In order to ensure the survival of Marine Animals, especially the endangered species, a restriction had been proposed in 2015 to restrict fishing in certain regions of the West Coast. The proposal had the support of both environmentalists as well as the industry. However, the Trump administration has withdrawn the proposed limits regarding the number of marine animals that can be injured or killed in fishing nets on the West Coast.

The administration has taken the report of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the yardstick to arrive at the decision. NOAA's latest studies show that the restriction is not necessary because alternative methods of protection have proved useful.

They have resulted in a drastic reduction in instances of these animals getting trapped in the long, drifting gill nets. The administration summed up its findings by informing that the introduction of measures to take care of a problem that has already been resolved is not justified.

The decision has been criticized

Los Angeles Times reports that the decision has been criticized by environmentalists who had tied up with the Pacific Fishery Management Council to extend protection to a large variety of marine animals. This Council has 14 members and it had recommended in 2015 that the federal government should adopt the restrictions. The government should keep in mind the fact that many of these animals are on the list of endangered species and hence need foolproof methods of protection.

Michael Milstein, a spokesman of NOAA Fisheries, has clarified that the introduction of a cap would amount to imposing an additional financial burden on the industry to take care of a problem that no longer exists.

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He outlined the various measures that have been taken. A few examples are imparting specialized training to the skippers of fishing boats, installing audible warnings to fishing nets, and widening the openings at the top of gill nets to enable bigger animals to escape easily.

Statistics to justify the move

NOAA has come up with statistics to back up its claims. According to its figures, the deaths and injuries to protected whales were in excess of 50 in 1992 but by 2015 the number had dropped to hardly one or two a year. As to common dolphins, the decline in the same period is from over 400 to just a few. Similarly, for the endangered Pacific leatherback turtles, the drop is from 17 in 1993 to no more than one a year by 2015.

However, environmentalists are not buying that line of argument. They insist that protection is still necessary for the rare species of marine animals because they continue to fall prey to gill nets that either leave them injured or dead. It is an undisputable fact that those who fight to save the environment and maintain the biodiversity always face an uphill task. They have to overcome opposition from unseen forces that usually have their own axes to grind.