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The State

March 18, 1987

A San Diego federal judge has temporarily blocked the government from forcing commercial tuna boat skippers to carry female observers during fishing expeditions. In granting a preliminary injunction to the owner of the purse seiner Apure, U.S. District Judge William Enright upheld the assertion of the tuna boat industry that the presence of federally mandated female observers on such boats raises serious questions regarding invasion of privacy issues. However, Assistant U.S. Atty. Karen Shichman who represents the women and their employer, the National Marine Fisheries Service, said an appeal is being "strongly considered." At issue is a new policy by the Fisheries Service that adds women to its force of male observers--marine biologists who ride the purse seiners to count the number of porpoises killed in the process of netting tuna.

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