Date: June 17, 1998
Contact: Dan Evans
Phone: (352) 373-6441
The annual closure of shrimping operations in Texas waters by the Texas state and federal governments ends in just two short weeks. Every summer, shrimp fishing is closed in Texas waters for 6-8 weeks to allow shrimp to grow larger in order to increase their value. This year, the closure is from May 15 to July 15. The reopening of the waters to shrimping operations– earlier this year, on July 4, rather than July 15– will endanger sea turtles now gathered to mate and nest. Many of these turtles are severely endangered Kemp’s ridleys, including one that was fitted with a satellite transmitter by area scientists, and continues to transmit daily her location in these waters.
A permanent closure of shrimping operations off the Texas coast is needed because of the exceptionally high number of sea turtle strandings. These strandings may be attributed to non-compliance to Turtle Excluder Device (TED) requirements by shrimpers, or the fatigue and disorientation caused to turtles by repeated capture and release through a TED.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED to attain this permanent closure. Please call the numbers below to express your concern about the plight of endangered sea turtles in Texas waters.
Governor George W. Bush
Texas State Capitol, Room 2S.1,
Austin, Texas 78701
Hotline for Texas residents 1-800-252-9600
Texas Parks and Wildlife
U.S. Secretary of Commerce