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Derelict Crab Trap Roundup a Huge Success

BILOXI, Miss. – During the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) Shrimp and Crab Bureau's 2013 Derelict Crab Trap Cleanup, a total of 281 derelict crab traps were removed from Mississippi waters to be recycled at Coast scrap-metal facility. We would like to thank Sims Metal Management, which also donated dumpsters and hauling of traps to be recycled. The cleanup was held Feb. 21-23, 2013, in all marine waters.

All Mississippi crab trap license holders were notified to remove their active traps from the closure area the week of Feb. 14-20, in advance of the cleanup. There were 32 volunteers registered in advance to help with the effort, and many braved rainy and windy conditions to participate.

Volunteers turned in the derelict traps at three sites along the coast: Pascagoula Point (105 traps), Ocean Springs Harbor (145 traps) and Bayou Caddy Marina (31 traps). Top contributing volunteers per site were Mark Kopszywa (60 traps at Ocean Springs Harbor), Wain Rogers (37 traps at Pascagoula Point) and Ernie Zimmerman (8 traps at Bayou Caddy). Volunteers also submitted data cards with information on where traps where recovered and what was in them. This information will be compiled by long-time program partners at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab.

"We can't express enough how much we appreciate our volunteers and partners who have made this on-going project a success. Special thanks goes to Mississippi's commercial and recreational crabbers who not only removed all of their own active traps from marine waters in preparation for the cleanup but also as a group provided the highest number derelict traps to be recycled" said MDMR Shrimp and Crab Scientist Bill Richardson.

The Mississippi Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program is funded through Tidelands Trust Fund. The program has removed and recycled 18, 910 derelict crab traps from Mississippi's waters since its inception in 1999.

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 DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

PHOTO A CUTLINE: MDMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau staff Traci Floyd and Darrin Stewart loading derelict traps collected by Pascagoula volunteers to be recycled.

PHOTO B CUTLINE: Pascagoula commercial fisherman deliver lost traps to be recycled.

PHOTO C CUTLINE: MDMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau Scientist Rick Burris unloads a messy trap at Ocean Springs Harbor.

PHOTO D CUTLINE: A recreational boater transports a found trap along front beach in Ocean Springs

Contact: Syneathia Lett
Phone: 228-523-4101

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