Interactions Between Platform Terminal Transmitters and Turtle Excluder Devices

Seney, Erin E. and Higgins, Benjamin M. and Landry, Jr. , Andre M. (2010) Interactions Between Platform Terminal Transmitters and Turtle Excluder Devices. Marine Fisheries Review, 72(3), pp. 44-47.

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Satellite telemetry is a common tool for examining sea turtle movements, and many research programs have successfully tracked adults. Relatively short satellite track durations recorded for juvenile Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, Lepidochelys kempii, in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico raised questions regarding premature transmission loss. We examined interactions between juvenile sea turtles outfitted with platform terminal transmitters (PTT’s) and turtle excluder devices (TED’s) and the potential for transmission loss due to this interaction. A pilot study was conducted with eight 34-month-old, captive-reared loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta; a larger trial the following year used twenty 34-month-olds. Half of the turtles in each trial were outfitted with dummy PTT’s (8×4×2 cm), and all turtles were sent through a trawl equipped with a bottom-opening Super-Shooter TED. No apparent damage was sustained by any PTT, but four of five PTT-outfitted loggerheads encountering the TED carapace-first exhibited increased escape times when the PTT wedged between the TED deflector bars (10.2 cm apart). Overall, 15 loggerheads (54%) impacted the TED carapace-first. Attachment of PTT’s to smaller sea turtles may slow or, in worst cases, inhibit escape from TED’s. Likewise, loose or poorly secured PTT’s could impede escape or be shed during such an interaction. Researchers tracking small turtles in or near regions with trawling activity should consider PTT size and shape and the combined PTT/adhesive profile to minimize potentially detrimental interactions with TED’s.

Item Type: Article
Title: Interactions Between Platform Terminal Transmitters and Turtle Excluder Devices
Personal Creator/Author:
Seney, Erin E.
Higgins, Benjamin M.
Landry, Jr. , Andre M.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 72
Number: 3
Page Range: pp. 44-47
Date: 2010
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Conservation
Item ID: 9672
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 16:26
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 16:26

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