Sea Turtle Release Gear Required for Vessels in the Gulf of Mexico or South Atlantic with a Freeboard Height of equal to 4 ft or Less

May 28, 2019

Sea Turtle Release Gear Required for Vessels in the Gulf of Mexico or South Atlantic with Commercial and/or For-Hire Hook and Line Fisheries and  Freeboard Height of 4 ft or Less. Freeboard is defined as the working distance between the top rail of the gunwale to the water's surface and will vary based on the vessel design.

Required Item

Example Model(s) Meeting Current Design Standards

Dipnet (handle length must be 6 ft (1.83 m) or 150 percent of freeboard height)

Dipnets meeting requirements available at Bluewater Tackle; Howell Tackle; Fishermans Ideal Supply House; Halfhitch Tackle; Hiliner Tackle; SNL Corp; etc.

Cushioned Support Device

A standard automobile tire; dedicated boat cushion

Short-Handled Dehooker for Internal Hooks*

17-in Bite Block Deep-Hooked (Sea Turtle) pigtail ARC Dehooker; NOAA/Chainlink Dehooker

Short-Handled Dehooker for External Hooks

17-in Bite Block Deep-Hooked (Sea Turtle) pigtail ARC Dehooker; NOAA/Chainlink Dehooker; ARC Short- handled J-Style Dehooker; Scotty’s Dehooker; Short-handled NOAA/Cylinder Dehooker

Long-nose or Needle-nose Pliers

12-in S.S. NuMark Model #030 281 109 871, Offshore Angler® Stainless Longreach Pliers Model #38-481-759-00, or Pittsburgh® 15-in Long Nose Locking Pliers

Bolt Cutter

H.K. Porter Model 1490 AC

Monofilament Line Cutter

Jinkai Model MC-T and Model MC-A; Fisherman’s Ideal Supply House and SNL Corp. monofilament line cutter models 1278 and CM100; Momoi Anvils mono cutters, serrated mono cutters, and scissor style mono cutters; Fiskars Multi-purpose cutter


At least Two (2) Types of the following Mouth Openers and Mouth Gags

Block of Hard Wood

Any block of hard wood or long-handled hard wood wire brush with the bristles removed meeting standards in federal regulations (e.g., Olympia Tools Model 974174)

Set of (3) Canine Mouth Gags

Jorvet Model J0051A, J0051B, and J0051C

Set of (2) Sturdy Dog Chew Bones

Nylabone©, Gumabone©, or Galileo© (trademarks owned by T. F. H. Publications, Inc) meeting standards in federal regulations.

Set of (2) Rope Loops Covered with Protective Tubing

Any set of (2) rope loops covered with protective tubing meeting design standards

Hank of Rope

Any size soft braided nylon rope is acceptable, provided it creates a hank of rope approximately 2–4 in thickness

Set of (4) PVC Splice Couplings

A set of (4) Standard Schedule 40 PVC splice couplings (1 in, 1.25 in, 1.5 in, and 2 in)

Large Avian Oral Speculum

Avian oral speculum set from Veterinary Specialty Products; Jorvet Model J-51z; and Krusse Model 273117; Large macaw model J0051Z from Patterson Veterinary

Disclaimer: This table is meant to help fishermen comply with sea turtle release measures contained in regulations published in the

Federal Register [76 FR 82183] on December 30, 2011 for the South Atlantic, and 71 FR 45428 published on August 9, 2006, for the Gulf of Mexico. All sea turtle release gear must meet the specific requirements in Appendix F to Part 622.

*Only one short-handled dehooker is required onboard if the approved short-handled dehooker is designed to remove internal hooks. This device is also approved to remove external hooks.


Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on 06/27/2019