URGENT UPDATE: Take Action to Stop Turtle Slaughter in Shrimp Nets!
As of October 13, 2011, more than 1,400 sea turtles have washed up on beaches this year in the Gulf of Mexico and southeast Atlantic where industrial shrimping trawls are rampant. On average, pre BP oil spill, this area of the Gulf of Mexico sees less than 150 dead sea turtle strandings in a year.
The Gulf shrimp trawl fishery is the leading killer of Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the U.S., who face grave dangers across the Gulf of Mexico from the commerical shrimp trawl fleet, which never closes in federal waters that lie beyond state lines. Increased enforcement of sea turtle protections are needed now!
"Gulf shrimp trawling continues to be a brutal, relentless killer of endangered sea turtles - there's simply no other way to put it," said Todd Steiner, executive director of Seaturtles.org in the Washington Post on October 13, 2011. "For generations, industrial shrimping has been the leading cause of sea turtle death - an atrocity that is completely unnecessary, if shrimpers used the low-cost technology that has existed for over two decades."
BP oil and recent offshore oil spills still contaminate the Gulf. Chronic exposure to oil could weaken sea turtles, poisoning them slowly. The increased fishing pressure, even with required Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on most shrimp trawls, could kill poisoned animals that would normally struggle to safety.
Send the Letter Below to Save Gulf Sea Turtles
Send the message below now, and add your own personal feelings. The photo of the dead Kemp's ridley to the right was shared by concerned Mississippi local Shirley Tillman.