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Turtle escape-hatches now required in more shrimp nets

sea turtle excluder devices

The federal government is reminding shrimpers that more boats are now required to have escape hatches for sea turtles installed in their nets. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a statement on Tuesday saying boats that are at least 40 feet long and use skimmer nets must now also use turtle excluder devices, commonly called TEDs. They've been required for decades in the more common offshore nets called otter trawls. NOAA Fisheries notes that TEDs are made to order, which takes time. It says vessel owners who don't yet have TEDs should consider ordering them well in advance of planned fishing trips. It included a list of TED-makers, adding that it can add more as it learns of them.