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New Louisiana Law Could Save Thousands of Turtles

posted: 07/09/15
by: Danny Clemens
Turtle head
GVision/iStock

Earlier this week, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed Louisiana House Bill 668 into law, important legislation that could save the lives of thousands of sea turtles.

The bill repeals a state ban on the enforcement of a federal statute passed in 1987 that requires all trawling shrimping boats to equip their nets with turtle excluder devices (TEDs), which allow sea turtles caught in shrimping nets to escape safely.

According to the bill text, "Present law prohibits the enforcement in state waters of federal regulations that require the use of turtle excluder devices in shrimp trawls until certain conditions and data can be determined and verified."

Conservation organization Oceana estimates that the Southeast Shrimp Trawl Fishery is responsible for more than 50,000 sea turtle deaths annually. According to Oceana Fisheries Campaign Manager Gib Brogan, "TEDs have been proven to reduce sea turtle deaths by 97 percent when used correctly. The effective use of TEDs by shrimp fishermen is important to the future of the fishery and the continued survival of sea turtles."

"Gov. Jindal and the Louisiana legislature have finally taken a big step toward protecting sea turtles and helping Louisiana's shrimp industry," said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity in a news release. "Today's news is important for Gulf sea turtles and a shrimp industry that has been trying to do the right thing and end a consumer boycott of its catch."

Learn more about turtles:

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Sea Turtles Face Climate Change
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