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DMR Seeks Volunteers to Help Remove Lost Crab Traps

BILOXI, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) in cooperation with Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) is seeking volunteers to participate in Mississippi's Derelict Crab Trap Roundup, to be held Feb. 21 through Feb. 23 to remove derelict crab pots from Mississippi's marine waters. During this period no harvest will be allowed. It is illegal to remove any crab traps not licensed to you unless you are a registered volunteer working during the cleanup dates.

MDMR will hold a crab trap gear closure in all state marine waters beginning at 6 a.m. on Feb. 14 and ending at 6 a.m. on Feb. 24.  Feb. 14 through Feb. 20 is the period when crab fishermen must remove their own traps from state marine waters. Harvest will be allowed while removing traps.

Any crab traps found in state waters between Feb. 21 and Feb. 23 will be considered derelict and subject to removal by registered volunteers. Traps will be accepted on Feb. 23 at the following sites: Pascagoula Point, Ocean Springs Harbor and Bayou Caddy-Boat Ramp, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Recovered traps will be taken to a recycling facility by Sims Metal Management.

Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up on the MDMR web site at www.dmr.ms.gov or call the MDMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau at 228-374-5000.  Refreshments will be provided to volunteers and prizes awarded for each site for the most traps turned in.

The MDMR began the derelict crab trap program in 1999 working together with the GCRL. Since the program's inception 18,378 traps have been removed from Mississippi waters and recycled. The project is currently funded through a Mississippi Tidelands Trust Grant.

On Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. two training sessions will be held for volunteers to learn trap clean up basics and receive supplies at the Bolton State Building in Biloxi.

Feb. 24 at 6 a.m. all active traps may be placed back into legal waters according to all MDMR regulations.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the MDMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.

ATTACHED: Flyer

Contact: Syneathia Lett
Phone: (228) 523-4101

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