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Lost crab pots, a threat to resource

Published by FiskerForum, 08-06-2008 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The long lost or abandoned crab pots continue to catch crabs which are nothing but a waste and thus killings the resources.

The Stillaguamish Tribe has studied that the lost crab pots have posed great threat to the lives of sea creatures. The tribe has spent $70,000 over the past five years to locate and remove more than 400 crab pots that have been abandoned on the seabed of Port Susan. Still there are hundreds of crab pots present in the sea bed buried in sediment or too tangled to be easily raised. Jen Sevigny, a wildlife biologist for the tribe, told that the tribe not only kills crabs, but also fish and other species. It also damages bottom habitat like eel grass beds. He said that fishermen leave the pots behind when they inadvertently drop them too deep into the water. Sevigny and other biologists know the abandoned pots are a problem. In future the tribe will conduct a crab mortality study in an effort to fill in that data gap. According to Sevigny several divers will check the pots to determine how quickly crabs are caught so that the tribe will have a good record of how many crabs are caught in abandoned pots, how long they survive before dying, and how long abandoned pots continue to attract fresh catches. According to the tribe cleaning up the crab pots helps the ecosystem and native fisheries. Ginny Broadhurst, director of the Northwest Straits Commission, said that more fishermen are setting traps all over the region, even in the path of state ferries. The ferries can snag the pot lines and drag them to ports.

Source: heraldnet.com

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