World Sea Turtle Day 2017– WWF calls on governments to take action to save tens of thousands of marine turtles each year

Posted on 16 June 2017   |  
Green Sea Turtle
© Jürgen Freund / WWF
New Delhi (World Sea Turtle Day):Today on World Sea Turtle Day, WWF globally is calling on the EU to immediately take action to protect marine turtles by requiring that all tropical shrimp trawlers exporting into the EU implement TEDs. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),bycatch poses the single most serious threat to marine turtles worldwide. Marine turtles play a key role in marine ecosystems by, among other things, maintaining the health of sea grasses and coral reefs.

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
Vinod Malayilethu
Senior Coordinator Marine Conservation Programme, +9447290728 

Ema Fatima
Marine Conservation Programme, WWF-India, +8447513300


blog comments powered by Disqus
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.