Miss. shrimpers fear new turtle protections

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) – New federal rules designed to protect sea turtles could soon impact the shrimp industry in Mississippi.

The proposed regulation calls for expanding the use of turtle excluder devices known as TEDs.

Shrimp boats that fish offshore already use TEDs. Turtle excluder devices use metal grates that prevent turtles from getting caught in the nets.

The new rule would apply to skimmer nets, which generally shrimp in shallower waters.

“It would affect about half of our fleet, which currently uses skimmer nets. They’ve been having to adhere to tow time restrictions. Now, they’ll have to use TEDs instead,” said Rick Burris, who directs the DMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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