noaa marine debris program

NOAA Marine Debris Program
vmrc
Virginia Marine Resources Commission
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
W&M > VIMS > CCRM > Marine Debris Location & Removal

CCRM Marine Debris Location & Removal Project

Marine debris is a global problem that injures and kills marine life, interferes with navigational safety, causes economic losses to fishing and coastal industries, and poses a threat to human health. The Chesapeake Bay is continually polluted with a wide variety of marine debris including derelict crab traps. Derelict (lost or abandoned) blue crab traps (pots) can continue to capture and kill animals for several years depending upon salinity and wave climate. Removal of marine debris, particularly derelict pots, can result in a natural resource and economic benefit if conducted in a structured and environmentally sensitive manner.

Watermen who would have been eligible to participate in the crab dredge fishery (this fishery was closed by VMRC in April 2008) were invited to participate in the program. In 2009, an additional 8 watermen were chosen by lottery to participate in the program to specifically target shallow water areas bringing the total number of participants to 66. In 2010, the total participant number was increased to 70. The project takes place from December 1st through March 15th.

The US Dept. of Commerce/NOAA funding for the program ended after the winter of 2011. A smaller effort, with four participants targeting 'hotspots' of pot loss, was funded through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Fishing for Energy Program for the winter of 2012.

Marine Debris Removal Counter
Season
Number of days worked
Number of watermen
'08 - '09
(48 days)
58
'09 - '10
(49 days)
65
'10 - '11
(49 days)
70
'11 - '12
(24 days)
70
'12-'13
(30 days)
4
'13-'14
(32 days)
7
Bycatch
(Click to see list of animals)
4,790
9,827
12,850
4,137
216
1,134
Crab pots removed:
Peeler pots removed:
Eel pots removed:
Nets removed:
Other debris removed:
Boats (not removed):

Total items removed:
7,809
820
109
62
246
5

9,046
8,655
719
113
38
535
8

10,060
8,395
1,435
140
52
532
3

10,554
3,438
672
105
9
161
9

4,385
637
62
27
-
7
-

733
1,107
121
33
1
17
-

1,279
crab pot removal map

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