Named after the Nemo movie character, Squirt was a small juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtle whose tragic story must be told.
He was caught on a fishing hook at a Mississippi pier and then taken
to a rescue facility. After healing, Squirt was released into the Gulf
near where he was caught. He was fitted with a satellite-tracking device
so his movements could be monitored as he roamed. Squirt first swam
south to Louisiana through Chandeleur Sound before
turning back north off East Bay, just south of Venice, Louisiana.
continued north-northeast before turning west offshore of Dauphin
Island, Alabama. Entering Mississippi Sound, Squirt headed west and
roamed off Cat Island, one of Mississippi's chain of barrier islands. Suddenly the radio transmissions ended.
They began five days later when his carcass surfaced. He drifted along and
was eventually found dead on a beach. You see, Squirt had gone where
there was shrimp fishing and Mississippi shrimpers use skimmer trawls
without any Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) to allow sea turtles to
escape. . See Squirt's satellite tracking here.
Sadly, Squirt survived a fishing hook, but was one of the thousands
of sea turtles accidently caught and drowned in shrimp nets that donít
use Turtle Excluder Devices. But now we have a chance to make sure that sea turtles like Squirt escape nets without harm!
With your help, we can win new protections for sea turtles in the shrimp fishery! More
than 5,500 sea turtles can be saved with use of Turtle Excluder Devices
(TEDs). Please join us in closing the deadly loophole that exempts
shallow water shrimp trawl boats from using TEDs. The deadline is July 9
to support proposed new sea turtle protections in the shrimp fishery.
Take Action Now and also write an original letter for Squirt! Send it to Michael Barnette at National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, Protected Resources Division, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5505
More about Squirt
This small endangered sea turtle was carefully examined by experts from the NOAA National Ocean Service Marine Biotoxins Program. They concluded there was no evidence of oil exposure or any harmful algal bloom/biotoxin. He had been a healthy little turtle that had been eating crabs and fish until caught in a trawl without a TED. He tried to escape but there was no way and no one was timing the tow that killed him. Maybe the shrimper didn't know the "timed tow" law or maybe he didn't care.
At last, the National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed ending the "timed tow" regulations that probably drowned Squirt and will continue to kill sea turtles in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama waters unless made illegal. (Texas prohibits the use of skimmers and Florida requires TEDs be placed on them.) The new regulations will require TEDs on all trawls including skimmers. Please speak up now for Squirt and the other ridleys and sea turtles that call the Gulf of Mexico home. Join us in ending an unenforceable regulation that has killed thousands of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal waters. TEDs work! All shrimpers need to use them! Take Action Now and also write an original letter for Squirt!
. See Squirt's satellite tracking here.