Over the past few months we’ve been reporting how sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico have been drowning in shrimp nets in appalling numbers.
Well, we have an update today – and the news is mixed.
In response to the revelation this summer that hundreds of sea turtles were dying, the government has stepped up its enforcement effort. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), between mid-April, the start of shrimping season, and late October, NOAA’s enforcement officers inspected more than 444 vessels to see if they were equipped with turtle escape hatches (also known as turtle excluder devices, or TEDs).
The verdict? 371 of the boats had TEDs in compliance with the law – leaving 73 of them either without TEDs or with the hatches tied shut or improperly installed.
While we’re happy to hear that NMFS is keeping up with TED enforcement efforts, these new numbers mean that only 83% of the boats are following the rules in place for the Gulf shrimp fishery to protect sea turtles from extinction. And that is simply not good enough.
Learn more about Oceana’s sea turtle campaign and stay tuned!
- Ocean News: Great Barrier Reef Will be “Pretty Ugly” by 2050, Sea Turtle Nests Down in South Carolina, and More Posted Wed, July 23, 2014
- Ocean News: Cape Cod Embraces Shark Spottings, Rare White Southern Right Whale Calf Spotted off Australia, and More Posted Tue, July 29, 2014
- Eleven Florida Lawmakers Urge President Obama to Reconsider Approval for Seismic Airgun Testing Posted Wed, July 23, 2014
- No-Take Zones in Belize Could Rebuild Conch, Lobster, and Grouper Populations Posted Tue, July 29, 2014
- Video: Spangled Emperor Fish Dazzle the Great Barrier Reef Posted Wed, July 23, 2014