WHEREAS, the implementation of Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations has been a significant factor in the decline in the number of shrimpers, many of whom have gone out of business, and
WHEREAS, the proposed TED regulations requiring that TEDs be of uniform design, placement and use are expected to result in a further reduction in catch efficiency by causing additional shrimp loss, and come on the heels of TED regulations that were revised just months ago, and
WHEREAS, shrimp trawling environments, circumstances and conditions vary widely throughout the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic with respect to habitat and the presence of sea turtles, and
WHEREAS, no sea turtles have been captured in over 70,000 shrimp samples taken with trawls in inshore and offshore waters by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries from 1968 through the present, and
WHEREAS, the banning of certain types of TEDs for what apparently is administrative convenience is contrary to the intent of the Marine Fisheries Conservation Act, and
WHEREAS, changing new TED regulations within months of adopting and implementing them causes a hardship to those shrimpers trying to comply with the law, and raises questions about the reliability of the science behind the regulations and the equity of the regulatory process, and
WHEREAS, there are other factors and causes of turtle mortality that are not being addressed by the National Marine Fisheries Service’s TED regulations.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation opposes the blanket changes being proposed for Turtle Excluder Device regulations at this time.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in convention assembled, 3 March 2002, in Marksville, Louisiana