GTM Research Reserve Announces Successful Derelict Crab Trap Removal

Sep. 4, 2014

crab trap

~Twenty-seven traps removed from local waters~

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve announced that the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves conducted their first derelict crab trap removal event from Aug. 21-23, 2014. This successful removal of 27 traps was a collaborative effort of the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves, the GTM Research Reserve, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Neil Armingeon, Matanzas Riverkeeper.

“This was an exciting and rewarding opportunity for us to work with a variety of organizations to make a positive impact on our estuarine system,” said Andrea Small, manager of the Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves.

Derelict crab traps have either been abandoned or lost by their owners. They are collected during a defined and brief time period when no permitted traps are in the water. Two GTM Research Reserve boats assisted in the removal of 27 traps for a total of 400 pounds of marine debris collected and removed from the area between the town of Marineland and the Guana River.

Elimination of these derelict traps helps to protect numerous forms of marine life, including fish, birds, invertebrates, dolphins, turtles and manatees. Otherwise, these creatures could get caught in the traps or entangled in the tether lines.

Future derelict trap removals will happen throughout the state at various locations. FWC accepts applications year-round for derelict trap removal events that can take place during both open and closed seasons for the harvest of species for which submerged traps are permitted.

To submit an application to host a derelict trap removal event or for more information,click here.

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