Harrison County supervisors talk turtles and pier repairs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County supervisors talk turtles and pier repairs

Posted: Updated:
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

The subject of endangered turtles and fishing piers came before Harrison County supervisors again on Monday morning. Concerns about the Kemp's Ridley turtle delayed FEMA reimbursing the county for repairs made to the Jim Simpson Pier. It's the same issue that has delayed repair work on Gulfport's storm-damaged piers. 

Repairs to the Jim Simpson Pier in Long Beach cost Harrison County $175,000. Before FEMA will reimburse that money, the project's impact on endangered sea turtles must be determined.

"It's like FEMA, or MEMA, doesn't know what NOAA needs. It's like the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. And we get caught in the middle," said Board of Supervisors President Marlin Ladner.

"The ultimate thing is to save these endangered species; which we are doing. This should be the model, not to be sanctioned," said Dr. Moby Solangi, who was invited to address supervisors on this issue.

The director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport told supervisors what he told WLOX News last week: the dozens of turtles IMMS has rehabbed and released, are actually counted against the federal quota that NOAA established for turtles hooked at fishing piers.

"And the numbers that were established as the quotas were not based on science. They're based on extrapolations and interpretations," he said.

Just last week, NOAA gave Gulfport the go-ahead to repair its fishing piers from Hurricane Isaac damage. That storm was 555 days ago.

But NOAA biologist, Bob Hoffman, told WLOX News his agency didn't receive the final necessary paperwork from FEMA until late December of last year.

The biologist from NOAA says one thing that will be required of these FEMA funded repairs to fishing piers will be the posting of signs, signs warning fishermen what to do, should they accidentally hook a turtle.

Such signage is already posted at places like the Biloxi small craft harbor.

County supervisors say they'd appreciate a little common sense as well.

"We know the value of that water and the fish and crabs and all the sea life that live in there. But at the same time, common sense has to play some part in dealing with these issues," said Board President Ladner.

NOAA biologist Bob Hoffman said some 500 endangered turtles were taken at fishing piers in Mississippi over the past three years.

Dr. Solangi said a study is needed to determine why a growing number of turtles are attracted to those piers. He said it's likely because their habitat has been adversely affected and the animals are simply in search of food.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >>
  • Two injured Omega Protein plant workers speak out

    Two injured Omega Protein plant workers speak out

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:17:11 GMT
    Two of the men injured in the Omega Protein explosion on Monday are speaking out about the deadly blast. In an exclusive interview with WLOX, the men describe what happened, and how they survived.More >>
    Two of the men injured in the Omega Protein explosion on Monday are speaking out about the deadly blast. In an exclusive interview with WLOX News, the men describe what happened that day, and how they survived.More >>
  • Hundreds of mourners celebrate life of Ja-Naya Thompson

    Hundreds of mourners celebrate life of Ja-Naya Thompson

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:54:08 GMT
    As Ja-Naya Thompson's short life was celebrated, there were a lot of tears and hugs as hundreds of people paid their respects during the visitation and the funeral service.More >>
    As Ja-Naya Thompson's short life was celebrated, there were a lot of tears and hugs as hundreds of people paid their respects during the visitation and the funeral service. People told me they went to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for two reasons, to mourn the loss of five year old Ja-Naya and to show support to the parents who must now face life without their beloved child.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.