BARNSTABLE, Mass. (AP) — Two members of the Kennedy family who thought they were doing a good deed by freeing an entangled sea turtle actually violated the law, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
John Bullard of NOAA's Division of Fisheries said he spoke to brothers Max and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about their rescue of the leatherback turtle and explained to them that what they did was dangerous and a violation of the Endangered Species Act, which makes it illegal to handle an endangered or protected species.
The Kennedys freed the estimated 500-pound turtle from a buoy line wrapped around its head and fins on July 6 after they spotted it while out sailing on Nantucket Sound.
The brothers have been ''cooperative and very helpful'' as the agency gathers pictures, gear and other evidence involved in the rescue, Bullard told Cape Cod Times (http://bit.ly/12wdiDr ).
Turtle rescue is best left to professionals because of the danger involved, he said. Anyone who spots a distressed turtle should contact NOAA.
An untrained person runs the risk of getting tangled in the line and pulled under by a turtle, which can weigh up to 700 pounds and hold its breath a lot longer than a human, he said.
''You can get entangled, go under and it can turn into a tragedy,'' he said.
Only the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies is certified to handle turtles.
Read the full story at the Boston Globe>>
National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.