(IAC) signed at Caracas (Venezuela), 1996; entered into force in 2001
The Inter-American Convention, or IAC, seeks "to promote the protection, conservation and recovery of marine turtle populations and of the habitats on which they depend, based on the best available scientific evidence, taking into account the environmental, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the Parties". Under Article III, the Convention applies to coastal habitat in the Americas, as well as maritime areas for which the Parties exercise sovereignty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (i.e. up to 200 miles from shore), thereby covering a significant portion of the ranges of marine turtles in the Western Hemisphere. The treaty requires Parties to protect and conserve marine turtle populations and their habitats; reduce the incidental capture, injury and mortality of marine turtles associated with commercial fisheries; prohibit the intentional take of, and domestic and international trade in, marine turtles, their eggs, parts and products; and foster international cooperation in the research and management of marine turtles. In addition, the treaty specifically obligates Parties to require the use of TEDs by commercial shrimp trawling fleets.