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September 23, 2008

Help Save Sea Turtles

BY: jeff

Did you know that all six species of sea turtles in U.S. waters are listed under the Endangered Species Act? Then I bet you’d be surprised to find out that our country’s trawl fisheries still catch hundreds of sea turtles in their nets every year, killing or severely injuring many of them. Loggerhead turtles have been protected for 30 years, but their numbers continue to decline.Fortunately, there’s a way to prevent this: It’s called a Turtle Excluder Device – or TED – and it’s an “escape hatch” that allows a sea turtle to wiggle out of the trawl net, relatively unharmed. While some fisheries use TEDs, too many do not – why? Because they’re not required to. The government took steps to protect sea turtles by requiring the use of TEDs in shrimp and summer flounder trawl fisheries, and studies show that properly-used TEDs can lead to a 97 percent reduction in sea turtle net entrapment. However, many other trawl fisheries have continued fishing without these important protections. We need your help to convince the government to protect these ancient creatures by requiring appropriately-sized TEDs in all trawl fisheries in the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico that operate in areas with sea turtles. Please take action today by telling the government to protect sea turtles from trawls, or donate to Oceana’s Save the Turtles campaign and receive a free, reusable sea turtle Chico bag with your donation of $100 or more.