Glad to see this step in the right direction.

(Source: Ticotimes.net )

As of Monday, all shrimp boats operating in Central America and the Dominican Republic must use turtle excluder devices, or TEDs, which allow a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman’s net.

A special committee at the Central American Integration System (SICA) decreed the mandatory measure in May, aimed at helping reduce the number of bycatch caught in shrimp nets.

Boat owners who fail to use TEDs could face fines and have their commercial fishing licenses suspended or revoked, according to regulations adopted by SICA member countries.

Antonio Porras, technical director at the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute, said that Costa Rica already had adopted similar measures in the late 1990s. He added that crews who fail to use TEDs should face charges before a criminal court.

Pictured: In February some 280 turtles were found dead in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific.

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