Make Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Circle hooks mandatory to Save Sea Turtles

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Please Help Friend of The Sea to convince governments to make the use of Turtle Excluder Devices and Circle Hooks (or equivalent bycatch reduction measures) mandatory in all countries. This will reduce sea turtles mortality, currently around one million, dramatically. We will send all signatures of this petition to the decision-makers in the governments and companies and we will ask for feedback and updates on the undertaken measures. We will then provide you with update here.

A turtle excluder device or TED is a specialized device that allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net.

Sea turtles can be caught when bottom trawling is used by the commercial shrimp fishing industry. In order to catch shrimp, a fine-meshed trawl net is needed. This results in large amounts of other marine organisms being also caught as bycatch. When a turtle gets caught or entangled in a trawl net, it becomes trapped and is unable to return to the surface. Since sea turtles are air-breathing creatures with lungs, they eventually drown.

 
Experiments suggest that circle hooks could also be an effective replacement at reducing captures of hard-shelled turtles because they are wider at their narrowest point than J hooks and tuna hooks. Therefore, they are too wide to fit into the mouths of sea turtles. The circle hook may also be effective at reducing leatherback captures because of its shape; hard-shelled turtles tend to get caught in longline gear because they bite a baited hook, while leatherbacks tend to get caught because they are foul-hooked on the body or entangled in the line.

Not all countries make TEDs and Circle Hooks mandatory. Friend of the Sea petition will be sent to all those countries and major fishing companies which have not yet introduced these measures. We will then report about outcomes and achievements here. 

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