The best commercial fishermen are true conservationists. They know that their livelihoods depend on healthy oceans, and they take personally their responsibility for protecting the living resources of the sea -- by not destroying habitats, or taking too many fish, or killing animals that people won't eat.
Sinkey Boone, a shrimp fisherman from Darien, Georgia, was a true conservationist and one of the best friends of sea turtles worldwide. Sinkey died in early September at the age of 73.
Sinkey made his living catching shrimp. He was also an inventor, the creator of the turtle excluder device (TED), which allows fishermen to catch the shrimp they want without killing the sea turtles that live in the same waters.
Before he created the TED, thousands of sea turtles were dying in shrimp nets each year. Today, those numbers are dramatically lower. The TED is standard equipment on U.S. shrimp boats, and employed by fishermen worldwide to protect sea turtles. It's making a big difference for the survival of endangered sea turtles.
The sustainable seafood movement has come a long way since Sinkey put his first "Georgia Jumper" TED on a shrimp net and we handed out the first Seafood Watch pocket guides. His passion, creativity and commitment are a reminder that creative, committed fishermen and the conservation community have common cause when it comes to saving the oceans.
You can learn more about Sinkey Boone, and let his family know how much he's missed, on his online memorial page.