As part of Southern Shrimp Alliance’s commitment to improve compliance with TED requirements in the shrimp trawl fishery, please be advised that it is not a valid defense against prosecution for a TED violation to claim that the TED you purchased from a TED manufacturer (net shop) was illegal when you bought it. This is true whether or not you knew the TED was not in compliance when you purchased it.
It remains every shrimp trawl fishermen’s and vessel owner’s legal responsibility to have an approved TED installed in each shrimp (otter) trawl net that is rigged for fishing regardless of the legal condition the TED was in when it was purchased.
If you have any questions about this, I urge you to consult the regulations at http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/labs/mississippi/ted/regulations.htm — or contact the NMFS Gear Management Team (Dale Stevens: 228-549-1771 firstname.lastname@example.org) to make sure you are in full compliance with these requirements.
Further, please be advised that TED manufacturers (net shops) are also liable under the law and subject to enforcement penalties for selling an illegal TED-whether or not the buyer was aware of any legal deficiencies at the time of purchase, and even if the buyer specifically requested the TED to be manufactured in any way that is not in compliance with the regulations.
As set forth in the TED regulations (50 CFR 223.205(b)(14)):
“..it is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to do any of the following:
(14) Sell, barter, trade or offer to sell, barter or trade, a TED that is not an approved TED.”
Any TED manufacturer should be fully aware of this legal obligation and should anticipate that it might be subject to inspection and possible enforcement action by law enforcement officers if violations of this regulation are found.
With this in mind, Southern Shrimp Alliance has not and will not endorse or otherwise provide any advice concerning any specific TED manufacturer. It is the responsibility of every shrimp vessel owner and operator to ensure that all TEDs rigged for fishing are in full compliance with the regulations.
Finally, I want to recognize and thank everyone in the shrimp industry for taking our responsibilities for TED compliance so seriously, and I am confident that any previous issues have been fully addressed.