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SHRIMPERS FINED FOR NOT PROTECTING TURTLES

Seventeen shrimp fishermen have been ordered to pay fines up to $12,000 for failing to equip their nets with devices required under federal rules to protect sea turtles.

It was the first major decision on enforcement of the regulations requiring turtle excluder devices, or TEDs.Hugh J. Dolan, an administrative law judge in the Department of Commerce, ruled the fishermen must pay the fines despite protests that the cagelike devices would cause them financial ruin.