Lawmakers vote to let state agents enforce sea turtle law
BATON ROUGE - State wildlife officials should soon be able to enforce federal laws that require shrimp nets to include escape hatches for sea turtles.
With a 99-0 vote Tuesday, the House gave final passage to a bill that will remove Louisiana's enforcement ban.
Supporters of the bill say some big-box retailers have boycotted Louisiana shrimp because they objected to the law and raised concerns about the state's handling of protections for endangered sea turtles.
The bill by Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, a Democrat from Dry Creek, heads next to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk.
All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are endangered or threatened. In the mid-1980s, when Louisiana's law was passed, the federal rule requiring "turtle excluder devices" in shrimp trawls was new and contentious.