Ecology: The Great Turtle Escape

The Great Turtle Escape

Shrimpers do their harvesting by dragging nets up to 55 ft. wide along the ocean floor, a technique that catches much more than tiny, tasty crustaceans. Kemp's ridley sea turtles, weighing up to 100 lbs., are netted and killed so , often that the species is endangered. Two years ago, the Commerce Department asked shrimpers to rig their nets with trapdoor-like gadgets called turtle- excluder devices (TEDs), which permit trapped turtles to escape. Gulf Coast shrimpers balked, and last spring, when the devices were made mandatory under the Endangered Species Act, the shrimpers protested by blockading shipping channels along the Texas...

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