Help Protect Diamondback Terrapins

Diamondback Terrapin
Diamondback terrapins are a species of special concern that live in creeks and estuaries along the south/east coast of the U.S. including Bald Head Island. Terrapins are often attracted to the bait in crabpots and end up getting caught as by-catch. Since terrapins need air to breathe, most don’t survive and drown if they get stuck in a crabpot. Terrapin Excluder Devices (TEDs) are rectangular devices which are used to prevent diamondback terrapins from entering crabpots in the first place.
Terrapin Excluder Device
Terrapin Excluder Device installed with zipties in a crabpot funnel

To make a crabpot terrapin safe, install a TED at the base of each funnel in your crabpot.  Attach each corner of the TED to the funnel using wires, hog rings or zip ties.  You can order TEDs from the Bald Head Island Conservancy by emailing
You can also make your own TEDs by bending a thick wire into a rectangle with the dimensions 1.6” x 4.75".
Diamondback Terrapin Management Area
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has designated Masonboro Island and Bald Head Island as Diamondback Terrapin Management Areas (DTMAs). TEDs are required in ALL crabpots in DTMAs by March 15th, 2021. Even if you are not in a DTMA we highly encourage you to install TEDs in your crabpots to help protect terrapins.

For more information about Diamondback Terrapins check out:

For more information about DTMAs and Blue Crab Regulations check out:
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