Plan to save sea turtles from shrimp boats scaled way back
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal regulators have vastly scaled back a plan to make more shrimp nets include sea turtle escape hatches. A conservation group calls it "a dangerous departure." The proposed rule would have required about 5,800 inshore shrimp boats to use turtle excluder devices. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday made a rule public that applies to fewer than 1,100 boats. The new rule takes effect in April 2021. Officials expect it will save as many as 1,160 sea turtles a year. But that's about 1,300 fewer than the estimate was for the 2016 proposal.
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