Evaluation of U.S. turtle protective measures under existing TED regulations, including estimates of shrimp trawler related turtle mortality in the wider Caribbean
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Evaluation of U.S. turtle protective measures under existing TED regulations, including estimates of shrimp trawler related turtle mortality in the wider Caribbean
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    "Sea turtle catch and mortality by U.S. shrimp trawlers under current sea turtle conservation regulations were evaluated. This required a rather complex analysis of shrimping effort, turtle catch rates, turtle mortality rates, effective- ness of TEDs and tow time restrictions, and compliance with existing regula- tions. Results of these analyses were used in determining whether changes in existing regulations to provide additional protection to endangered and threatened sea turtles were warranted. Current TED regulations, assuming 100% compliance, have resulted in a 67% reduction in sea turtle mortalities by shrimp trawlers in U.S. waters. However, under current regulations an estimated 23,376 turtles are captured annually by shrimp trawlers and 4,360 of these turtles drown. Based upon a recent analysis by the National Academy of Sciences, these estimates may underestimate true mortality by. a factor of four .. Sea turtle take by foreign shrimp trawlers operating throughout the wider Caribbean has never been quantified. Sea turtles are widely dispersed throughout the western North Atlantic and are known to migrate great distances between nesting and foraging habitat. It is likely that many of the same turtles that are protected in U.S. waters under TED regulations are subject to take by trawlers in foreign waters. To effectively recover sea turtle populations in the western Atlantic, protection throughout a species range is essential"--Executive summary.
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