Do Sea Turtles Still Need Protection as an Endangered Species?

by Robert Cheney

in News, Sea Turtles

Loggerhead sea turtles are currently considered a federally endangered-species 1, much to the chagrin of commercial fishermen who must use extra safeguard measures that are expensive and time-consuming to avoid ensnaring them in their fishing nets. 

A lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Fisheries Association is aiming to loosen these safeguards as they feel that loggerhead turtles are no longer endangered. The filing of this lawsuit forces the federal government to respond within 60 days with an assessment of the population of loggerheads or the group will continue its lawsuit.

Loggerhead conservationists feel they need protection as their number of nests along the coasts of North and South Carolina have only recently began to increase. Since sea turtles do not mate until they are 25 years old, conservation efforts from decades ago are only just now bearing fruit.

Commercial shrimpers are required to use turtle excluder devices on their nets which they feel are unfairly burdening them.

Turtle Excluder Device

Turtle escaping from net equipped with a TED
Photo: NOAA

We will update this page as more information becomes available

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