Local Texas Parks & Wildlife game wardens seized just over 1,800 pounds of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday afternoon.
According to Calhoun County Game Warden Chelsea Bailey, she along with a couple other game wardens were patrolling the Gulf of Mexico specifically for shrimp boats.
“We inspect their catch, the net and the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) that they use on the boat,” Bailey said.
The TED is a device that is inside the shrimp net that allows turtles, if they are captured, to exit without any harm or being killed, Bailey explained. She added that when they check the TED, they are looking for the device to be at a proper angle.
The maximum angle the device can be is 55 degrees, and Bailey said the boats TED exceeded that significantly.
“It was a pretty flagrant degree,” Bailey said.
The TED they were using to catch the shrimp was in violation and therefore deemed illegal, not the amount shrimp. There is not a limit on shrimp. In addition no one on the boat had a shrimp captain license.
The game warden issued a citation for the in proper degree angle of the TED.
Bailey said instead of having the shrimpers pull up all their equipment, bring the nets in and follow them back into Port O’Connor, the game wardens gave them the option to unload the shrimp on to their boat.
When the game wardens seize that amount of shrimp, they call local businesses and award the highest bidder with the shrimp.
“We contacted a few people in Port O’Connor and Port Lavaca. One bidder bought the 1,800 pounds of shrimp,” Bailey said.
Bailey added that the funds accumulated from the sale goes back into research and recovery funds.