World Sea Turtle Day 2017– WWF calls on governments to take action to save tens of thousands of marine turtles each year
A report launched by WWF reveals that tens of thousands of marine turtles are killed each year during trawling for shrimps.A simple solution to the problem is the use of TEDs (Turtle Excluder Devices) in the trawl nets. The use of TEDs has proven to have reduced turtle bycatch by upto 97% with minimal shrimp catch loss.
India is one of the largest exporters of shrimps, mainly, to US and EU markets with approximately 46% of shrimps being wild caught.India is also home to the largest mass nesting olive ridley turtle population which is threatened by shrimp trawling without TEDs.
The government of India has been facilitating the installation of TEDs in shrimp trawl boats through CIFT (Central Institute of Fisheries Technology), and the state government of Odisha has made it mandatory for all trawlers to use TEDs. However implementation of these regulations is still a concern and needs to be strengthened.
WWF highlights that the future of many of the world’s marine turtle populations rests on reforming the tropical shrimp production system across the value chain. A shift in global consciousness on the consumption of shrimp from fisheries implicated in marine turtle bycatch is essential.
WWF is calling upon all actors, from the tropical shrimp fisheries right up to national governments, and the European Commission, to demonstrate their commitment to helping secure a permanent place for sea turtles in the global marine ecosystem.
“Marine turtles represent a vital natural heritage for India and the country should do all it can to protect turtles from critical threats such as bycatch, loss of nesting habitat, and climate change. Transforming the shrimp industry towards sustainability, including the use of Turtle Excluder Devices is a critical way forward”. – Dr. Sejal Worah, Programme Director, WWF-India
For more information, contact
Senior Coordinator Marine Conservation Programme
Marine Conservation Programme, WWF-India