The following NOAA Fisheries Bulletin is provided as a courtesy:

ISSUE DATE: July 15, 2021                                                                                          FB21-046

CONTACT: Michael Barnette, 727-551-5794, michael.barnette@noaa.gov

Key Message:

  • On August 1, 2021, a final rule goes into effect amending the definition of tow time and requiring the use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) designed to exclude small sea turtles in the nets of skimmer trawlers 40 feet and greater in length in the Southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries.
  • For the purposes of this rule, vessel length is the length specified on the vessel’s state registration or the U.S. Coast Guard vessel documentation required to be onboard the vessel while fishing; if there is a difference in documented vessel length, the lesser length will be used.
  • Beginning August 1, 2021, skimmer trawl vessels 40 feet and greater in length must have TEDs installed in any net that is rigged for fishing.
  • NOAA Fisheries will continue our outreach strategy to help fishermen comply with these requirements and to fish with TEDs effectively. Our outreach efforts include targeted virtual meetings and social media messages, dockside workshops, instructional videos, and the establishment of an email account (info@noaa.gov) to respond to submitted questions.

 

Additional Information:

Information on the safe handling and release of captured sea turtles can be found on our website at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/southeast/endangered-species-conservation/sea-turtle-smalltooth-sawfish-and-giant-manta-ray-release