Center for Biological Diversity

Demand an Escape Hatch for Trapped Sea Turtles

Green sea turtle
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Sea turtles that get caught in fishing nets are not likely to survive. Every year thousands of them drown after becoming entangled in fishing nets -- when the technology already exists to reduce these unintended and unnecessary deaths.

"Turtle excluder devices," or TEDs, provide sea turtles and other nontarget species of marine life a way to escape fishing nets. Unfortunately not everyone uses TEDs.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed to require all shrimp boats in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic to use TEDs, which would likely save thousands of sea turtles from drowning in nets every year.

Skimmer trawls can currently use tow-time restrictions instead of TEDs. Tow times limit the amount of time shrimpers can keep their trawls in the water, but evidence is mounting that even when these restrictions are followed, skimmers drown turtles. The proposed rule would abandon tow-time restrictions and require skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls and wing nets to use TEDs.

Please use the form below to urge the Fisheries Service to save thousands of sea turtles every year by making TEDs mandatory fishing equipment.

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Read more at our fisheries Web page.

Photo of green sea turtle courtesy Flickr Commons/NOAA.

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