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FWC approves draft language on diamondback terrapin conservation

By FWC - | Dec 23, 2020

At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved draft language and directed staff to continue working on diamondback terrapin conservation proposals that are part of a larger approach to prevent further decline of the species.

Throughout their range, diamondback terrapin populations are in decline due to a variety of issues, such as habitat loss, growing popularity in the global pet trade and illegal collection, predation, and climate change. Because of overlapping habitat, there is also a potential for terrapins to be accidentally caught in blue crab traps.

Staff will continue looking into prohibiting the take and possession of diamondback terrapins, as well as the use and utility of bycatch reduction devices (BRD) in blue crab traps as one way to minimize the potential of adult terrapins from entering crab traps. Staff were also directed to continue looking at potential impacts to the blue crab industry.

The FWC has been gathering public feedback on the future management of diamondback terrapins, as well as the blue crab trap fishery and the use of BRDs. Staff will bring a proposal for changes to a future meeting for further, and possibly final, consideration.

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Commission click on “Commission Meetings.”

To share input on the prohibition of take and possession of diamondback terrapins, email Freshwater.Turtles@MyFWC.com. To share input on bycatch reduction devices, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.