NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices on Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)


NOAA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule to Require Turtle Excluder Devices on Skimmer Trawls, Pusher-Head Trawls, and Wing Nets (Butterfly Trawls)
NOAA will be holding three meetings in Louisiana to solicit public input on this proposed rule.
1. Larose, LA - January 9, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Larose Regional Park and Civic Center, 307 East 5th Street, Larose, LA 70373
2. Gretna, LA - January 10, 2017, 12pm-2pm, Coastal Communities Consulting, Inc., 925 Behrman Highway, Suite 15, Gretna, LA 70056
3. Belle Chasse, LA - January 10, 2017, 4pm-6pm, Belle Chasse Community Center, 8398 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037
NOAA is proposing to withdraw current tow time restrictions and instead require all skimmer trawls, pusher-head trawls, and wing nets (butterfly trawls) rigged for fishing to have turtle excluder devices (TEDs) to prevent small sea turtles from getting caught in these nets. The intent of this proposed rule is to reduce incidental bycatch and mortality of sea turtles in southeastern U.S. shrimp fisheries, and to aid in the protection and recovery of threatened and endangered sea turtle populations.
NOAA is also proposing to amend the definition of tow times to better clarify the intent and purpose of tow times to reduce sea turtle mortality, and to refine additional portions of the TED requirements to avoid potential confusion.
Click the link below for the full rule as proposed by NOAA:

www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0151
Additional Methods for Submitting Public Comment
You may also submit comments by any of the following methods. Written comments will be accepted through February 14, 2017. NOAA may not consider comments if they are sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the comment period ends.
Online through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:
· Go to www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0151
· Click the “Comment Now!' icon
· Complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. You may submit attachments in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
Mail: Michael Barnette, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
Fax: 727-824-5309; Attention: Michael Barnette
For more information, contact Michael Barnette at 727-551-5794.

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