Posted: Sep 18, 2011 11:23 AM
Source: Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS- Since mid-April, federal fisheries agents on the 1,631-mile Gulf Coast have spent almost all their time making sure shrimpers are using equipment designed to let sea turtles swim safely out of shrimp trawls, officials say.
Weather permitting, the National Marine Fisheries Services enforcement agents based in Slidell and Galveston, Texas, spend almost every day boarding boats.
Tracy Dunn, deputy special agent in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries enforcement office in St. Petersburg, Fla., says Since July, Dunn said, they've been off Texas, where the shrimp season opened July 15.
Dunn says the federal agents started in each area with dockside checks to ensure that TEDS are in working order and captains know the rules.