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Home > Management Info > TEDs & BRDs

Management Information: TEDs & BRDs

The commercial shrimping industry along the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic coasts protects aquatic resources in those waters in several ways, among them by outfitting trawl nets with Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRDs) to reduce incidental mortality through unintended catch. These devices are required by law in federal waters. In state waters, shrimpers are required by Texas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to use both. BRDs are not required in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama state waters. (Visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries site at http://www.wlf.state.la.us/apps/netgear/index.asp?cn=lawlf&pid=106 for Commercial Fishing Regulations; note sections for "Area" and "Methods of Taking") Although some types of trawl nets are exempt from these regulations, the shrimpers using them must comply with regulations restricting tow times. Through these efforts, the populations of endangered and threatened species of sea turtles as well as some finfish species can be conserved.

Conservation of marine resources is of interest to all commercial fishers. Those in other fisheries and/or using other gear types of fishing gear are also trying to reduce the incidental take of marine life. Those in the reef fish bottom longline fishery are considering use of circle hooks. (For more information about circle hooks, visit http://www.mslabs.noaa.gov/mslabs/docs/pubs.html) In other parts of the country, gillnet fisheries have been closed or new gear developed. For example, in Hawaii, longliners are testing an underwater setting chute to protect some species of sea birds from accidentally swallowing or grasping baited hooks. (Read the article "New Fish-Bait Device Helps Protect Seabirds" (60KB PDF file) for more information) Each of these devices is designed to help unintended catch escape or prevent their capture with the least possible loss of the intended catch.

The commercial shrimp fishing industries of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic cooperatively developed, modified, and tested TEDs and BRDs with assistance from NOAA Fisheries and pro-commercial fisheries organizations such as the Gulf and South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. NOAA Fisheries has further assisted in the research and development of these gears by conducting underwater hydrodynamic tests and indentifying promising devices that could further reduce incidental bycatch.

Controlling or reducing bycatch is a global issue. This portion of the Sea Grant Fisheries Web site is dedicated to providing information and an archive of articles only about management information associated with the use of TEDs and BRDs shrimp trawl nets in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions.

Photo by Robert Ray, Louisiana Sea Grant

Logo: Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.
Development of this portion of the Louisiana Sea Grant Fisheries Web site was funded by
the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc. under NOAA cooperative agreement #NA16FM2817.
The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gulf & South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc., NOAA, or the Department of Commerce.

Fisheries regulations are subject to change often.
At the time this information was posted, these regulations were correct.
For more information, contact John Mitchell of NOAA Fisheries at John.Mitchell@noaa.gov

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