The Louisiana House of Representatives took a big step forward on May 6 when they unanimously approved House Bill 668 repealing a 1987 bill which has hurt the economy of the shrimp industry and the reputation of the state. The bill has now gone to the Senate and, if passed, will go forward to Governor Jindal for his signature.
The 1987 bill prohibited the Louisiana law enforcement officers from boarding shrimp boats to check for Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) in trawls. The TED allows sea turtles to escape drowning while the trawl is dragged to catch shrimp. Louisiana shrimp is red-listed (a warning against buying) for consumers because TEDs are not enforced in LA state waters by state wildlife and fisheries agents and drown by the thousands in the shallow waters of the state where they migrate and forage.
America is watching for positive action by the Senate of Louisiana followed by Governor Jindal. Every Louisiana voter who likes to eat shrimp or makes their living shrimp fishing should contact their senator TODAY and then Governor Jindal. Now is the time to ensure America’s sea turtles are protected.