Turtle Restoration Project, an environmental group, blames the WTO ruling for the death of 13,000 sea turtles in India last year.
Sea turtle conservationists in California and family shrimp fishers from Florida filed a federal lawsuit today against the U. S. State Department for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for allowing shrimp caught in ways that are deadly to sea turtles to be sold in the United States.
These two groups may seem like odd bedfellows, but both groups have the health of the ocean creatures at the forefront of their interests. How did this happen? Well when American shrimpers complied with the WTO ruling and changed their nets and adjusted their fishing practices to help save the turtles the foreign shrimp fishermen did not comply. By continuing to use the old nets that have no TED (Turtle Extruder Devices) they are accelerating the demise of the endangered sea turtles.
Shrimp fisheries are the largest known mortality factor for adult turtles. Because turtles breathe air, they frequently drown when they become entangled in fishing gear and are unable to surface.
This problem needs to be solved quickly, because thousands of sea turtles are drowning in these nets in our Caribbean waters and overseas as well. Just recently Bangladesh environmentalists have been demanding that shrimp fisherman the poorest of the poor and the shrimp fisheries work together to avoid the total destruction of the seas around Bangladesh due to the use of these old style nets and the repeated over fishing of the same coastline areas.
Please adopt a sea turtle this year and help keep our turtles from drowning in these nests.
Excerpts courtesy of http://seaturtles.org/article.php?id=1468
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.seattlepi.com/business/case1.shtml
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=29926&Cr=fao&Cr1=fish
Image courtesy of http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/turtle.pri__0.jpg