REMINDER FB22-006: Important Reminder from NOAA Fisheries: Turtle Excluder Device (TED) Requirements are Now in Effect

Important Reminder from NOAA Fisheries: Turtle Excluder Device (TED) Requirements are Now in Effect
TED Requirements for Skimmer Trawls:
  • In an effort to strengthen sea turtle conservation efforts, NOAA Fisheries is offering a reminder to the shrimp industry of current TED requirements. A TED is a device that allows sea turtles to escape from trawl nets, and their use is required by regulations implemented under the Endangered Species Act. TEDs aid in the protection and recovery of sea turtle populations by reducing their incidental bycatch and mortality in southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries.
  • Currently, all vessels using otter trawls and all vessels 40 feet and greater in length using skimmer trawls must have properly installed TEDs in their nets. Vessel length is the length specified on the vessel’s state vessel registration or U.S. Coast Guard vessel documentation required to be onboard the vessel while fishing. Skimmer trawl vessels less than 40 feet in length may also choose to use properly installed TEDs, but if they do not, those vessels must still comply with maximum tow time limits (i.e., 55 minutes from April 1 through October 31 and 75 minutes from November 1 through March 31, as measured from the time the codend enters the water until the time the codend is emptied of catch on deck). Other limited exemptions from the TED requirements can be found at 50 CFR 223.206(d)(2)(ii).
Important Note: TEDs are made to order and this does take time. Vessel owners who haven’t yet acquired TEDs should consider getting orders in well in advance of their planned fishing trips to make sure they don’t experience delays.
We Can Help:
  • To schedule a courtesy compliance TED check please contact the Gear Monitoring Team at TED.info@noaa.gov, Canh Nguyen (228) 355-8372, Jason Letort (228) 355-8667, or Jeff Gearhart (228) 369-4265.
Upcoming TED Workshops and Additional Information:
TED Manufacturers: (updated 2/10/22)
  • Due to questions coming into our Southeast Fishery Science Center’s Gear Monitoring Team, we also want to provide a list of skimmer trawl TED manufacturers. NOAA Fisheries is not recommending any specific manufacturer. The list below is intended to inform the industry and public of existing skimmer trawl TED manufacturers. The list is not exhaustive and will be updated if additional manufacturers are identified.

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