Turtle Accord

October 10, 1996

Fourteen countries from North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean last month signed the first-ever international agreement to protect sea turtles. All sea turtles that inhabit U.S. waters are classified as either endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Turtle conservation programs are expected to be established in countries party to the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles.

The agreement also requires the use of turtle excluder devices on nearly all shrimp trawl vessels.