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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-48-13 Pound Net Fishermen

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: Sept. 27, 2013
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Asks Pound Net Fishermen to More Vigilantly Check Their Nets

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is asking pound net fishermen to more vigilantly check their nets after an unusual number of sea turtles were caught in pound nets last week.

In addition, the division is asking the public to promptly report interactions they see between sea turtles and fishing gear.

A N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission weekly summary of sea turtle strandings and incidental captures for the week of Sept. 15-21 showed five fatal sea turtle interactions involving pound nets.

The division is asking pound net fishermen to check their nets every day until sea turtles leave the waters, so that any entangled sea turtle can be released or receive medical attention faster. Commercial fishermen should use National Marine Fisheries Service’s safe handing and release protocols (http://www.nero.noaa.gov/prot_res/stranding/SeaTurtleHandlingResuscitationv1.pdf), and report the interaction to the N.C. Marine Patrol at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.

The general public should immediately report any interactions between sea turtles and fishing gear they see to Marine Patrol at the above numbers. Immediately reporting interactions allows Marine Patrol to more quickly investigate and assist turtles that are alive. People should not try to free the sea turtles from the nets, because they might hurt themselves or further injure the turtle or damage someone else’s fishing gear.

The division will continue to monitor the waters and take further action, if needed, to protect the threatened and endangered sea turtles.

For more information, contact Chris Batsavage, the division’s Protected Resources Section chief, at 252-808-8009, 252-241-2995 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.

nr-48-13

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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