Advocacy Groups Urge FWS to Enforce MBTA to Protect Brown Pelicans in Florida

The Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Pelicans, Friends of the Tampa Bay National Wildlife Refuges, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Humane Society of the United States, and the American Bird Conservancy are urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to enforce the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) if Florida fails to address threats to protected coastal birds at the Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. According to the groups, state-sanctioned fishing activities at the pier are injuring and killing a significant number of brown pelicans and other migratory coastal birds when they become hooked or entangled in fishing gear. The groups argue that these casualties all constitute illegal takes under the MBTA that require FWS intervention.