Diamondback terrapins endangered by crabbers not using turtle excluders on pots

Diamondback Terrapin. Photo: Willem M. Roosenburg, Ph.D., Ohio University.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Remember the terrapin when you set out crab pots this year.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says it receives reports every year of diamondback terrapins that are trapped and drown in crab pots lacking an escape hatch known as a Turtle Excluder Device. And it is asking recreational crabbers to make sure their crab pots have the devices.

The device consists of a rectangular frame that keeps turtles from getting into the trap, but not crabs. State officials say a crab pot with a correctly installed TED will catch just as many crabs, and not drown terrapins.

Abandoned crab pots have been found with as many as 49 drowned terrapins, deaths that can seriously hurt terrapin populations.

TED regulation
Make your own TED