On February 100 of 1997, the Government of Costa Rica formally requested the government of the United States to authorize the use of modified 8 inch bar spacing TEDs. The justification was based on an analysis of 4 independent studies from 1973 to 1996, in which 194 turtles were caught.
In July of 2000, after a process of analysis and evaluation of the technical information submitted, Costa Rica was granted a temporary permit to use 6 inch bar spacing TEDs (official letter of approval). As the technical doubts were not 100% cleared, the US government conditioned the permanent approval to a study that could prove without doubt that sea turtles would not be jeopardized by the modification, and granted Costa Rica two years to submit the results of this study.
The Puntarenas Chamber of Fishermen, through funds facilitated by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Costa Rica (MICIT) and the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research of Costa Rica (CONICIT), hired the services of PRETOMA to carry out the necessary research, as of January of 2002 (Tico TED Report).
The results of this report prove without a doubt that the proposed modification does not represent a threat to the sea turtles, as all specimens captured during shrimp trawl operations in Costa Rica are adults. However, information is still lacking regarding overall Tico TED performance. The greatest problem to carry out these evaluations is the lack of cooperation on behalf of the Captains.