Free Turtle Excluder Devices Available for Skimmer Trawls

The Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD) announces that a program created by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), through the BP Recovered Oil for Wildlife Fund, will allow skimmer trawl vessels to voluntarily receive free turtle excluder devices (TEDs). This device allows turtles to escape when caught in a trawl net. There is no deadline for requests, but a prompt response is requested.

Currently TEDs are not required of skimmer trawls, but the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has indicated that TED gear for Gulf of Mexico shrimpers using skimmer trawls may be required in the near future. This gear update would relieve skimmer trawl shrimpers from tow-time restrictions. If you are interested in receiving free TED gear and installation instructions for your commercial skimmer trawl, please contact AMRD at 251-861-2882.

For questions about the potential federal TED gear requirement for skimmer trawls, please contact the NMFS Regional Office at 727-824-5312.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions:  Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.