NOAA FISHERIES ANNOUNCES
PUBLIC HEARINGS TO DISCUSS PROPOSED TURTLE EXCLUDER DEVICE REGULATIONS
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.,
- 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,
- 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