The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries recently issued a statement urging both commercial and recreational fishermen to take steps to avoid interaction with sea turtles.
All species of sea turtles found in North Carolina waters are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. According to DMF, unpermitted sea turtle interactions illegal, including interactions involving commercial as well as recreational fishing gears.
Any fisherman that catches a sea turtle should release it unharmed, if possible. If the turtle is injured, lethargic or comatose, immediately call one of the following numbers:
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Sea Turtle Stranding Hotline 252-241-7367
North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries 800-682-2632
For guidelines on how to avoid sea turtles while fishing and what to do if an accidental catch is made, visit: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/observer/fishing-guidelines
source: North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries