Regulations to Protect Sea Turtles from Shrimp Trawlers and Other Fisheries
MFS amends the sea turtle conservation measures and the interim final rule currently in effect. As of December 1, 1992, this final rule requires shrimp trawlers to comply with sea turtle conservation measures throughout the year in all areas. Where limited tow-times may be used as an alternative to turtle excluder devices (TEDs), tows must be limited to 55 minutes or less from April 1 through October 31; at other times of the year tows,must be limited to no more than 75 minutes. As of January 1, 1993 shrimp trawlers under 25 feet (7.6 meters (m)) in offshore waters can no longer use limited tow-times as an alternative to using turtle excluder devices TEDs. Also, as of January 1, 1993, all shrimp trawlers in inshore waters must use TEDs, except those equipped with a single net with a - header length of less than 35 feet / (10.7 m) and a footrope length of less I than 44 feet (13.4 m), which may use the tow-time alternative under December 1, 1994. This firial rule also makes various other technical corrections and minor changes to the sea turtle conservation measures.