Skip to Page Content
banner top art gif
office title gif
NOAA Fisheries
Office of Protected Resources
Acropora palmata thicket on Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Andy Bruckner, 1996Coho salmon painting, Canadian Dept of Fisheries and OceansMonk seal, C.E. BowlbyHumpback whale, Dr. Lou Herman
banner art gif
Marine Mammals
Marine Turtles
Marine & Anadromous Fish
Marine Invertebrates & Plants
Species of Concern
Threatened & Endangered Species
Critical Habitat Maps
  Contact OPR
OPR Site Map

inner curve gif

Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs)

  Turtle escaping from a net equipped with a Turtle Excluder Device (TED).
Turtle escaping from net equipped with a TED
Photo: NOAA

One of the major threats to marine turtles in the marine environment is incidental capture, injury, and mortality during fishing operations. To address interactions between marine turtles and trawl fishing gear, NOAA Fisheries worked cooperatively with the commercial shrimp trawl industry to develop turtle excluder devices, or TEDs.

What is a TED?
A "Turtle Excluder Device" is a grid of bars with an opening either at the top or the bottom of the trawl net. The grid is fitted into the neck of a shrimp trawl. Small animals such as shrimp pass through the bars and are caught in the bag end of the trawl. When larger animals, such as marine turtles and sharks are captured in the trawl they strike the grid bars and are ejected through the opening. Initial TED designs did not allow for the release of larger leatherback and hardshell turtles and TED openings were later redesigned to address this problem.

  loggerhead turtle escaping from a TED - video
Loggerhead Turtle escaping from net equipped with a TED
Video (35 sec)

TED Regulations
NOAA Fisheries considered industry concerns and other public comments in developing and implementing TED regulations [pdf] [16 KB] (50 CFR 223.206-207 [CFR]). Further, industry representatives continue to participate in developing and assessing new TED designs and modifications. NOAA Fisheries gradually phased in TED requirements and has provided numerous workshops and programs to work cooperatively with the industry regarding TEDs. NOAA Fisheries remains committed to working with industry as other geographic areas and fisheries are identified that require the future development and use of TEDs.

  loggerhead turtle escaping net equipped with turtle excluder device
Loggerhead Turtle escaping a net equipped with turtle excluder device (TED)
Photo: NOAA

TEDs in Other Countries
With respect to foreign shrimp fisheries, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Department of State have worked closely with numerous other nations that export shrimp to the U.S. to help them develop TED programs comparable to the U.S. program. These programs are now in place in various countries. For more information on these programs, please see P.L. 101-162.

The first multi-lateral binding treaty devoted solely to sea turtle conservation, the IAC is also an important framework to further promote TED programs in other countries.

Updated: January 23, 2014

NOAA logo Department of Commerce logo