Shrimpers respond to proposed shrimp-net turtle rules

Federal wildlife officials want to expand rules that would require shrimpers to use nets with special escape hatches to help reduce the number of sea turtle deaths.

GRETNA, La. (AP) - Some inshore shrimpers say that if the federal government requires turtle escape hatches in their nets, it should reimburse them for lost catch. Others say they trawl in water too shallow for "turtle excluder devices" to work.

MORE: La. shrimpers may face new rules to keep sea turtles from net deaths

About 80 shrimpers, most of them Vietnamese, gathered Tuesday to hear marine biologist Michael Barnette explain a proposal to require the devices on smaller inshore nets. They're already required in offshore trawls.

Barnette's remarks and the shrimpers' comments were translated by the head of a nonprofit organization created to help southeast Louisiana commercial fishermen and rural entrepreneurs.

The meeting was the second of six that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is holding this week and next to get public comment. Others are in Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina.

© 2017 Associated Press


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