GULF OF MEXICO — Due to reports of unusually high numbers of endangered sea turtle sightings and strandings in Mississippi, an effort is being made to increase the survivability of any sea turtles that may become captured in a skimmer shrimp trawl.
To support this effort, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, through the BP Recovered Oil for Wildlife Fund, to provide free of charge turtle excluder device (TED) gear and installation instruction to Mississippi commercial shrimpers who agree to voluntarily use TEDs in their skimmer trawls.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has indicated that TED gear for Gulf of Mexico shrimpers using skimmer trawls may be required in the near future. This gear update would relieve skimmer trawl shrimpers from tow-time restrictions.
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