March 9, 2017 — A conservation organization has met its goal to remove 1,000 derelict crab pots from the Barnegat Bay within two years.
The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF) says its “derelict crab pot teams were out in full force” last weekend, removing 69 from the water and bringing the current total to 1,045. CWF, with state and federal assistance, previously mapped the locations using side scan sonar.
According to CWF, derelict crab pots “ghost fish,” unnecessarily trapping marine life. The program is also helping the organization to understand how much gear is lost annually by recreational and commercial crab fishermen, according to a NOAA release.
Fishing for Energy, a public-private effort that provides commercial fishermen a no-cost solution to recycle old and unusable fishing gear, is partnering with CWF to recycle the materials. Collection bins are situated at the ports in Waretown and Mantoloking.