MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program
Saturday, March 15, 2003
Crab traps have been used extensively in local waters since the 1950s. Each year an estimated 20 –50% of these traps become lost due to storms, broken lines and neglect. These traps can continue to fish causing crabs and fish to be trapped and die needlessly. The traps are unsightly, can damage boats, and may cause personal injury.
A two-phased pilot program was implemented in Alabama in June 2002 to address the derelict trap problem. For the first 7 days of the 2002 shrimping season, the shrimping fleet was permitted to remove derelict traps from deep water and disposed of them in dumpsters provided by the Alabama Marine Resources Division (AMRD). On June15, 2002, shallow water and marsh edges were patrolled by volunteer organizations. A total of 477 derelict traps were removed during the summer clean-up and five diamondback terrapins, 51 blue crabs, 1 striped mullet and 17 mud crabs were released alive.
The AMRD and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program are joined again to clean Alabama coastal waters. On Saturday, March 15, 2003 all crab traps within 500 yards of the shoreline will be considered marine litter and can be removed and disposed of by volunteers in dumpsters provided by Mobile Bay NEP. Taking of a crab trap at any other time or location can be considered theft of property unless authorized by the Alabama Marine Resources Division.
Many of the traps are in water too shallow for powerboats to reach. However, canoes and kayaks would be able to reach these traps in shallow water. The most efficient crew would be a team of one boat and several canoes or kayaks to pick up these traps in a designated area.
For further information, see http://www.mobilebaynep.com
If you would like to help, please contact:
Leslie Hartman AMRD 861-2882
Lee Yokel Mobile Bay NEP 431-6409