Commercial Turtle Harvesting

TEXARKANA, (AP) – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is reviewing a proposal to ban commercial turtle harvesting in the state.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that the Center for Biological Diversity has filed a petition asking the agency to stop commercial turtle trapping.

Arkansas allows commercial trappers to take an unlimited number of 14 varieties of turtle from waters across roughly half the state, including the entirety of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers.

According to state records, 126,381 freshwater turtles were harvested from 2014 to 2016.

Bill Posey, assistant chief of fisheries for the commission, says most turtle harvesters work in the northeast area of the state.

The commission is accepting public comment on the proposed ban until it makes a final decision at an Aug. 16 meeting.

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