Scallopers: Check those turtle dredges!

GLOUCESTER, MA – In early January, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) put out a notice alerting scallopers that enforcement officials have found turtle deflector dredges that are not in full compliance with required specifications and measurements.

Until now, many scallopers voluntarily have fished with turtle deflector dredges in the Mid-Atlantic. But come May 1, the dredge requirement will be mandatory for all vessels that fish west of 71°W longitude from May 1 through Oct. 31, which is considered to be the peak time for the presence of turtles, especially loggerheads.

The new dredges must be manufactured as follows. ● “The cutting bar must be


  Example of a turtle deflector dredge frame.






A noncompliant turtle deflector dredge frame.


Read the rest and much, much more in the February issue of Commercial Fisheries News. Read online immediately and download for future reference.