Dead turtles found on Mississippi beaches

WAVELAND, Miss. _In the past two weeks, seven large sea turtles have been found dead on Mississippi beaches.

Officials say it's not known whether the deaths were related to a large number of turtle deaths from long-line commercial reef-fishing activity in the Gulf of Mexico. This week the National Marine Fisheries Service announced an emergency rule to help protect endangered loggerhead turtles.

The creatures are being caught up and injured or killed by long lines. The new temporary rule takes effect May 18. It moves the minimum depth for commercial reef long-line fishing to seaward of the 50-fathom contour in the Gulf of Mexico, instead of the current depth, which is seaward of 20 fathoms.

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