National Academy of Sciences concluded that shrimp trawling kills more
sea turtles than all other human means combined. Federal laws requiring
the use of Turtle Excluder Devices in shrimp nets have not stopped the
needless drowning of endangered sea turtles along the Texas coast.
Inconsistent enforcement of and compliance with TED laws have resulted
in continued high strandings of Kemp's ridleys and other sea turtle
species during the shrimping season.
More adult Kemp's ridley sea turtles wash up dead at Padre Island than
anywhere else in the world. About half are pregnant females coming to
nest. After years of protection, the number of nests are increasing
with 8 nests found in 1997, 11 nests in 1998, and possibly other nests
that were not detected.
Dead sea turtles don't lay eggs. A marine reserve will boost the slow recovery of these ancient ocean dwellers.
Nearly half of all dead adult Kemp's ridley sea turtles found stranded
in the United States during the last five years were located at Padre
Island; and considerably more Kemp's ridley sea turtles may have nested
at Padre Island has these deaths not occurred.
Shrimp boats have been sighted close to the Padre Island shore.
Recently alarming numbers of shrimp trawlers have been caught for
either improperly installing their TEDs or not using them at all. One
shrimper was even caught with a live Kemp's ridley in his net.
Click here to go to current compliance data for Texas, according to federal officials.