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Jun 5, 2012 6:30 AM by AP

Shrimpers, feds meet to talk sea turtle devices

BELLE CHASSE, La. (AP) - Federal regulators are in Louisiana to talk about a proposal to make shrimpers working in state waters put special devices on their trawl nets allowing sea turtles to swim out to safety.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is holding a meeting Tuesday in Belle Chasse to hear from shrimpers about a proposal to require the equipment, known as turtle excluder devices, or TEDs. A meeting on the proposal was held Monday in Larose.

Many shrimpers are opposed to the proposal, saying there is little evidence that links trawl nets with sea turtle deaths.

The Times-Picayune reports that NMFS estimates 28,127 sea turtles are captured annually by shrimpers and that the TEDs will prevent 5,515 turtle deaths a year. The rule could take effect by next March.

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