Scallop Dredge Gear Change To Prevent Sea Turtles From Entering Dredges
NOAA Fisheries Service announces a required change for sea scallop dredge gear that will prevent sea turtles from entering dredges where they can be injured or killed during fishing operations. The modification requires a "chain mat" across the dredge opening made from both horizontal and vertical chains that are spaced widely enough to allow sea scallops to enter, but closely enough to prevent sea turtles from entering the dredge bag. All vessels with a Federal Atlantic sea scallop fishery permit fishing south of 41° 9.0' North latitude (Bridgeport, Connecticut) from the shoreline to the outer boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone from May 1 through November 30 each year must modify their dredges with properly configured chain mats.
April 20, 2007