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Old 09-21-2011, 06:19 AM
Location: The 12th State
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A study by Duke University and Conservation International says the number of sea-turtle deaths caused by interatctions with fishing gear has dropped 90% since 1990. But researchers say they aren't sure why the decline has occurred.

read more Sea-turtle deaths tied to fishing decline
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:28 AM
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,360,577 times
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North Carolina has been very pro-active with TED's (amongst other excluder devices) in the shrimp industry. 1990 is about the time TED's were installed in otter trawls. Otter trawls are the "traditional" type of shrimp boat.

A TED (Turtle Excluder Device) is a metal grate with bars spaced 4 inches apart. The grate is installed in the funnel section of the trawl. It is installed at an angle. At the bottom is a flap that goes to the outside. As the turtle or any large fish like a drum enter in the bag-They confront the grate and slide down it to the escape flap and out. There is no option for the turtle. He can't get past the grate or miss the escape panel.

Another conservation measure instituted in the 90's here in NC was tow times. Shortening the tow times allowed time to release anything captured before it drowned.

There is another type of shrimp trawl here in NC called a skimmer trawl. You usually see these nets on flat bottom skimmer boats. They continually fish but more on the upper water column. The fishermen can also empty the tail bag at anytime and keep fishing. So any turtle that may have beeen caught can be released immediately.

I was very fortunate to work on several research projects in the 90's and early 00's on this subject.

North Carolina shrimpers have been great stewards in regards to sea turtles. Whenever you read an aarticle please note where they are talking about. Is it international, US or NC specific. Conservation methods can vary greatly depending where you are.

Last edited by Bill Hitchcock; 09-21-2011 at 08:06 AM..
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