Listing of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Under the ESA
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Department of the Interior, determine the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (the Act). In addition. the green sea turtle (Chetonia mydas, which includes the subspecies C. mydas agassizii, and C. mydas carrinegra) and the olive (Pacific) ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) (hereinafter referred to as the Pacific ridley) are determined to be threatened species under the Act except that the Florida and Mexican Pacific coast breeding populations of green sea turtles and the Mexican Pacific coast breeding population of Pacific ridley sea turtles are determined to be endangered species. This rulemaking also contains protective regulations for threatened species of sea turtles. The primary differences as a result of listing these populations as endangered instead of threatened are that incidental catch by commercial fishermen is prohibited and there are no exceptions for zoological exhibition or educational purposes, taking of injured, dead, or stranded specimens, taking of species under State-Federal Cooperative Agreements for research or conservation, or subsistence taking of green turtles in the water by residents of certain U.S. territories in the Pacific.