Scientists urge La. to protect netted sea turtles

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Posted: Nov 2, 2011 4:00 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: new orleans, sea turtle, net, fishing, shrimping, governor, bobby jindal, environment, wbrz, louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - Dozens of scientists are asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to scrap a 1987 law that bars state marine agents from enforcing federal rules requiring shrimpers to have special devices on their nets that allow ensnared sea turtles to swim to safety.

On Wednesday, more than 60 scientists sent a letter to Jindal urging him "to revisit and revise" Louisiana's laws and "align with modern fishing and environmental practices."

In 1987, the Louisiana Legislature passed a law banning state wildlife agents from enforcing federal laws requiring shrimp trawls to be equipped with the devices, known as turtle excluder devices. At the time, Louisiana's fishermen were outraged by the new devices and claimed there was little evidence that they were catching sea turtles in their nets.

Jindal's office did not immediately comment.

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