NOAA 2001-r143
Contact: Chris Smith


The National Marine Fisheries Service will hold eight public hearings on the proposed rule to standardize Turtle Excluder Devices throughout the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today. The proposed regulations are intended to enhance the effectiveness of TEDs and reduce sea turtle mortality caused by shrimp trawling in the Atlantic and Gulf Areas of the southeastern United States. The proposed modifications, published in the Federal Register on Oct. 2, 2001, (66 FR 50148), would affect shrimp fishermen in both state and federal waters.

The proposed TED standardization, which includes an increase in size of the opening, will help larger sea turtles escape from trawls. The new proposal would amend regulations governing the types of TEDs allowed and certain other turtle protections. Proposed changes include:

  • Requiring the use of either the recently approved double cover flap TED or a TED with opening of at least 71 inch straight-line stretched mesh measurement*;
  • Requiring all TEDs to have a minimum 32-inch by 32-inch grid size;
  • Disallowing the use of the hooped hard TED, weedless TEDs, and Jones TEDs;
  • Disallowing the use of accelerator funnels;
  • Requiring bait shrimpers to use TEDs in states where a state issued bait shrimp license holder can also fish for food shrimp from the same vessel;
  • Requiring tow time restrictions on try nets with headrope lengths of 12 feet or less.

The hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Oct. 24, 2001, 7 p.m., Madeira Beach City Hall, 300 Municipal Dr., Madeira Beach, Fla.
  • Nov. 1, 2001, 7 p.m., South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Marine Resources Research Institute, Main Auditorium, 217 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston, S.C.
  • Nov. 5, 2001, 7 p.m., Duke Marine Lab, I.E. Grey Library Auditorium Building, 135 Duke Marine Lab Rd., Beaufort, N.C.
  • Nov. 5, 2001, 7 p.m., Airport Hilton, Main Ballroom, 901 Airline Dr., Kenner, La.
  • Nov. 6, 2001, 7 p.m., University of Georgia Marine Extension Service Office, 715 Bay St., Brunswick, Ga.
  • Nov. 7, 2001, 7 p.m., Texas A&M University, Classroom Laboratory Building, Room 100, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston, Texas.
  • Nov. 8, 2001, 7 p.m., Laguna Madre Learning Center at Port Isabel High School Lecture Hall, Highway 100, Port Isabel, Texas.
  • Nov. 9, 2001, 7 p.m., Brevard Agricultural Center Auditorium, 3695 Lake Dr., Cocoa, Fla.

Written comments about this proposed rule should be sent to: NOAA fisheries Office of Protected Resources, Attn; Don Knowles, SSMC3 Room 13821,1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282. Comments about this proposal must be received by Nov. 16, 2001.

*Specifications for these TEDs are posted on the Internet at:

Printed copies of the specifications are available from NOAA fisheries at the above address or by calling (301) 713-2332.