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2018 Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo
March 4, 2018 - March 31, 2018
The Derelict Crab Trap Rodeo Program was initiated in 2004 by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to remediate the ecological, environmental, and economic costs of derelict crab traps. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission dictates a closure area for derelict crab trap removal within Louisiana state water bottoms. During these closures, crabs can’t be taken by commercial fishers in the designated areas and crab fishers are asked to remove their traps. During the closure, LDWF and its designees may collect and dispose of derelict traps. Typically, volunteer days allow the public to collect traps within specific locations. For each trap, bycatch and location information is recorded and organisms released. Traps are transported by boats to a designated marina where they are crushed and placed in a dumpster for offsite disposal.
In 2018 (and beyond) PC plans to capitalize on cost saving strategies learned in 2016 and 2017 to ramp up the number of traps removed from Lake Pontchartrain Basin and the Louisiana Coastal Zone as a whole. Our objective is to remove more than the number of traps that are lost every year, so that the existing inventory of traps lost in past years can start to be reduced. Information about LDWF 2018 closure areas for Derelict Crab Trap Removal can be found here.
With their negative ecological and environmental impacts, “ghost traps” are clearly a detriment to the Louisiana coastal zone and removing them should be a priority for coastal stakeholders. In the future, the crab trap removal program looks to incorporate improvements to sustainability, such as reduction of lost gear and recycling or reuse of derelict traps.