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Georgia Sea Turtle Nests Up, Strandings Down – Shrimpers Take a Bow

Not only are loggerhead nests nearing a record-high in Georgia, far fewer dead sea turtles are washing up on shore. Read the Jacksonville newspaper article.

No doubt there are many reasons for this, but I suppose some of the credit should be given to Georgia shrimpers who we worked with about 10 years ago with our certified turtle-safe shrimp program. Those family based shrimpers were dedicated to protecting sea turtles by using Turtle Excluder Devices. One shrimper in particular, Sinkey Boone, argued for years that the holes in the TEDs needed to be bigger — and years later the federal fishery managers finally did it.

Perhaps far less trawlers are out there shrimping today due to fuel costs and competition from imports, but my sense is that the Georgia shrimper’s early embrace of TEDs has made a big difference.

So now 10 years later, and knowing that sea turtles take decades to mature and return to nest, it seems that the responsible shrimpers should take a bow.