The feds have denied a petition to take Hawaii green sea turtles off the list of threatened species.

The honu news came Friday from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

NMFS and FWS denied the 2012 petition to delist the Hawaii green sea turtle because of its small and narrowly distributed nesting population and threats of climate change and sea level rise.

Sea turtle right side sun

A green sea turtle gets some sun and sleep on the north shore of Oahu.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s executive director, Kitty Simonds, was behind the push to delist the Hawaii green sea turtles. She was president of the Maunalua Hawaiian Civic Club that introduced the proposal to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs. (Wespac actually got in trouble for using its staff to prepare the petition.)

The feds plan to classify green sea turtles in 11 distinct population segments to better manage the species.

A study found that some groups — Florida and along the Pacific Coast of Mexico — are doing better thanks to conservation efforts but others are getting worse.

The feds want to give more protection to green sea turtles in American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by bumping them up from “threatened” to “endangered.”

There’s a public hearing on that proposed rule, which is open for public comment until June 22, that starts at 6 p.m., April 8, at the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu.

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