Lost and abandoned blue crab traps pose a problem in Florida’s commercial and recreational fishing industries by continuing to trap fish and crustaceans. Traps can also pose a marine hazard.
Efforts to clean them up are receiving a major boost in 2009, due to a new rule approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to systematically close the commercial fishery around the state, making it easier to identify and retrieve derelict traps.
In cooperation with FWC and the Ocean Conservancy, Florida Sea Grant is helping provide volunteer organizations and individuals around the state with information they need to organize local blue crab trap removal events in their community.
Sea Grant provides this “Quick Start” (printer-friendly pdf, 112K) guide to give prospective volunteer organizations an overview of the steps for organizing a local derelict trap removal event. In general, you will be asked to read, read, read and browse the Web resources that our partners have compiled to help you decide if organizing an event is “right” for your organization.
The “Quick Start” guide is a much-condensed version of the Ocean Conservancy’s “Derelict Blue Crab Trap Removal Manual for Florida.” (printer-friend pdf, 1.9Mb)
First Step: Visit the FWC Derelict Trap Retrieval and Debris Removal Program web site, where you will find FAQs, sample budgets and how to begin the application process.
Important: You must have authorization from FWC to remove derelict traps.
As dates for cleanup events around the state become known, they will be posted here as a source for individuals who may want to volunteer a few hours one morning gathering derelict traps.