TAKE ACTION! Tell the government to protect sea turtles from trawls

  • by: Oceana
  • recipient: Mr. Balsiger: Government Control

Take Action to Stop Offshore Drilling! Many of our country's trawl fisheries accidentally injure and kill endangered sea turtles by entangling them in their massive nets.

Fortunately, there's a Turtle Excluder Device or TED and it's an escape hatch that allows a sea turtle to wiggle out of the trawl net, relatively unharmed.

While some fisheries use TEDs, too many do not, and are not required to.

Help convince the government to protect these ancient creatures by requiring TEDs in all trawl fisheries in the U.S. that operate in areas with sea turtles.

For more information: http://takeaction.oceana.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=25178 

Trawl fishing gear in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico is a grave threat to threatened and endangered sea turtle populations.

Nearly two decades ago, the U.S. was a leader in turtle conservation by requiring our shrimp fishermen to use Turtle Excluder Devices or TEDs in trawl nets. These TEDs provide an escape hatch for turtles in the nets while still catching shrimp.

The U.S. also required fishermen from countries wishing to import shrimp into the U.S. to use TEDs in their shrimp trawl gear. Yet, the federal government has not required TEDs in other trawl fisheries likely to interact with sea turtles, such as scallops and most flounders. It is high time to take similar action to protect sea turtles from all trawl fisheries.

While time and area closures are the best protection for sea turtles, requiring TEDs in all trawl fisheries is an immediate, concrete action that would reduce the catching and killing of sea turtles in trawl nets. Please protect turtles from all trawls and help ensure the future survival and recovery of sea turtle populations. This can be done by requiring the use of properly sized TEDs in all trawl fisheries operating in seasons or locations where sea turtles are known to be present. This includes all state and federal waters, all types of trawls, and all target species. And please ensure that all TED regulations are paired with adequate enforcement and observer coverage.

Immediate action is needed for the turtles. I urge you to require TEDs in all trawl fisheries where turtles are present before it is too late to recover these threatened and endangered species.
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