Sea turtles are affected by fisheries throughout their distribution. The main fishery responsible for turtle mortality was the shrimp fishery, but the development of 'Turtle Excluder Devices' has helped to decrease this impact.
A leatherback turtle entangled in a gill net. Fisheries affect turtle populations throughout the world. Shrimp trawling used to result in the greatest number of adult and juvenile deaths over any other reason.
The development of Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs), patented in 1988, helped to decrease the number of turtle deaths associated with this fishery but unfortunately only a few countries have made TEDs obligatory by law.
Drift nets, longlines and fish traps are also responsible for turtle mortality through entanglement and drowning. Indirect effects of commercial fishing, such as habitat destruction and food web changes can also have severe impacts on sea turtles.