Posts tagged with

derelict fishing gear

Taking on Tackle: Removing Derelict Fishing Gear

Posted Wed, 07/25/2018 - 17:28

Lost and discarded fishing gear is hazardous, and can be a difficult marine debris problem to address. Once lost, nets, lines, and traps can entangle wildlife, create major hazards to navigation, and damage sensitive and important habitats. Because gear can have few identifying characteristics, it can be difficult to track its location, or find its source. In order to reduce the impacts to coastal habitats from derelict fishing gear (DFG), the NOAA Marine Debris Program funds projects that remove and prevent the continued impacts of fishing debris.

Enjoy Fishing, Responsibly!

Posted Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:00

Believe it or not, but it’s already August and summer seems to be flying by! Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to enjoy the warm weather by spending some time outdoors with your family and friends. Perhaps you’re planning on spending these last dog days partaking in one of summer’s most popular activities—fishing.

Fishing is a fun activity to enjoy with family, friends, or for some peaceful time alone. Unfortunately, fishing gear and fishing-related items are commonly found as marine debris in our environment, but thankfully, there are ways to enjoy this tradition without contributing to marine debris.

Derelict fishing Gear in the Northeast

Posted Thu, 07/13/2017 - 11:00

While the Northeast region of the U.S. is home to several large population centers that create large amounts of consumer debris, there is also a marine debris issue lurking beneath the ocean surface. Derelict fishing gear is a prevalent problem in most of the Northeast states.

Lost or discarded fishing gear that is no longer under a fisherman’s control becomes known as derelict fishing gear (DFG), and it can continue to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds. Factors that cause gear to become DFG include poor weather conditions, gear conflicts with other vessels or bottom topography, or the use of old, worn gear.

A California Island Oasis with a Debris Problem

Posted Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:52

By: Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

The Channel Islands offshore of Southern California are a special place with tremendous biodiversity and cultural significance, and home to the Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS). The islands are situated within 60 miles of 18 million people, yet receive relatively few human visitors, harbor 175 miles of undeveloped coastline, and provide habitat for numerous marine mammals, threatened birds, and other species unique to the area. Unfortunately, due to their location and orientation, the Channel Islands are also a local sink for marine debris that enters the Santa Barbara Channel.

Derelict Fishing Gear in the Pacific Northwest

Posted Thu, 04/13/2017 - 11:30

By: Nir Barnea, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

To most residents and visitors in the Pacific Northwest, marine debris is what they see on the beautiful beaches of Oregon and Washington: items such as plastic consumer debris, commercial packaging, and even balloons. Luckily, agencies and NGOs including CoastSaversGrassroots Garbage Gang,  Oregon SOLVE, and the Oregon Marine Debris Team have collaborated together and with the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) for years to prevent and remove this debris, much of it arriving from around the Pacific to the sparsely-populated Pacific Northwest coast. Another form of marine debris, derelict fishing gear, is less visible, but still harmful to the environment, commerce, and navigation. Derelict crab pots, shrimp traps, and lost nets and lines can entangle marine wildlife, harm the sea floor upon which they rest, pose a risk to navigation, and even threaten human safety.

Derelict Fishing Nets and the Pacific Islands

Posted Thu, 02/09/2017 - 12:30

Derelict fishing nets are a big marine debris problem. These nets can entangle wildlife, create major hazards to navigation, and can damage sensitive and important habitats. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to address as they often have few identifying characteristics. This makes determining their source challenging and makes derelict nets difficult to track.

Derelict fishing nets are a particularly large problem in the Hawaiian archipelago, due to Hawaii’s geographic location in the North Pacific Gyre and Convergence Zone and the large amounts of fishing that occurs domestically and internationally in the Pacific. The North and East Coast shorelines of each Hawaiian Island are the most impacted, due to the northeast trade winds that blow this debris ashore. 

Marine Debris Research: Ecological and Economic Assessment of Derelict Fishing Gear in the Chesapeake Bay

Posted Thu, 10/13/2016 - 13:41

By: Amy Uhrin, Chief Scientist for the NOAA Marine Debris Program

The Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery accounts for 50% of the United States blue crab harvest, and is worth about $80 million annually. It’s estimated that about 600,000 crab traps (also called “pots”) are actively fished on an annual basis in the Bay. Some crab pots become lost (derelict) when the pot’s buoy line becomes detached or cut, either by vessel propellers, faulty lines, or vandalism. Strong storms can also move pots from their original deployment location, making them difficult to relocate. In addition, pots may be abandoned, as has been observed at high rates in some regions of the Bay. Once lost, derelict pots can damage sensitive habitats and continue to capture blue crabs and other animals, often resulting in their death. 

Fishermen Take the Lead in California Removal Efforts

Posted Tue, 05/24/2016 - 12:44

Marine debris is a pervasive problem and unfortunately, our golden state on the west coast is not immune. However, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) is supporting some innovative projects that are actively addressing this problem. To give you a cool example, California is the site of a nifty marine debris removal project that started last summer.

Led by the SeaDoc Society at the University of California, Davis and working with area fishermen, this project in Northern and Central California is working to fight a big debris problem: derelict crab traps. Derelict traps can cause all kinds of problems for marine life, recreational boaters, and for fishermen. Apart from losing expensive traps, the fishery suffers as derelict traps continue to capture crabs that could otherwise be caught by an active fisherman (a concept known as ghost fishing). To address this problem, commercial fishermen are going out during the closed crabbing season to recover lost pots.

Lobster Trap Debris in the Florida Keys: A Look Back

Posted Fri, 04/29/2016 - 10:29

Over the years of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, there have been many efforts around the country to rid our waters and shores of marine debris. As part of our ten-year anniversary celebration, let’s take a look back at one of those efforts in our Southeast region.

Derelict fishing gear can cause lots of problems, including damaging important and sensitive habitats, ghost fishing, and posing hazards to navigation. Unfortunately, derelict commercial lobster and crab traps are a prominent type of marine debris in the Florida Keys.

A New Study Looks at Derelict Traps in the Florida Keys

Posted Thu, 04/28/2016 - 02:56

Research is an important part of our fight against marine debris, as it allows us to learn more about the topic and be better able to target and address it in the future. Thanks to a new study by our very own Chief Scientist, Amy Uhrin, we now know a little more about derelict lobster traps and how they impact habitat in the Florida Keys. Read all about it and get the link to the scientific paper in this NOAA Response and Restoration blog post.