Preventative measures

There are several ways by which turtle populations can be protected whilst still allowing fishing to continue.

1) A trap door known as a Turtle Excluder Device, (TED), can be installed into trawl nets at a low cost ($50-$400). These do not impair the performance of the net but allow turtles to escape easily. As turtles are so large and heavy, they increase the mass of the catch considerably. This means that the fishing vessel has to trawl a much heavier net through the water than it would want to, thus wasting fuel. The implementation of TEDs save fuel and thus lead to amore efficient fishing operation. The design of this net also allows for the release of rocks and other junk gathered during the trawl.

2) Areas of sea with high populations of turtles at certain times of the year can be declared "no fishing zones" at these times.

3) People who eat turtle meat (particularly the inhabitants of the Ionic Apulia Coast in Italy) can be educated as to the damage their demand for the meat is doing to the species.

4) Reduce "trawl times". It has been shown that the length of time that a vessel has its nets or lines out is proportional to turtle mortality rates. If a trawl does not exceed 60mins then the mortality rate is approximately 0%, if it is increased to 200mins, then the mortality rate increases to over 50% (HENWOOD and STUNTZ, 1980)