Fishermen against proposed turtle protection rules

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Shrimpers who make a living in the bays and marshes of the Gulf of Mexico say pending rules forcing them to install clunky devices on their nets to save endangered sea turtles may push their struggling industry over the edge.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is holding public sessions in the Gulf of Mexico and North Carolina to inform fishermen about proposed rules requiring small-fry fishermen who trawl for shrimp in state waters to install escape hatches for sea turtles on their nets by next spring.

The rules, if given final approval by NMFS, would affect about 2,435 active fishing vessels in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and North Carolina.

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