(Feb. 7, 2012) – Once again, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with Louisiana Sea Grant, with assistance from the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Crab Task Force, the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Program, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy, will host the 2012 Derelict Crab Trap Clean-up in portions of St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes over the next two months.
Since the program began in 2004, the state has removed and disposed of more than 19,000 derelict and abandoned crab traps. The removal of these traps is not only vital in conserving the blue crab resource, but also improves safety and navigability of waterways.
The schedule for clean-ups is as follows:
St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes clean-ups will begin Feb. 25 at 6 a.m. and end March 5 at 6 a.m. Volunteer clean-up days, hosted by LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Saturday, March 3 at Sweetwater Marina on Delacroix Island.
The Terrebonne Parish clean-up will begin March 17 at 6 a.m. and end March 26 at 6 a.m. A volunteer clean-up day will be hosted by LDWF on Saturday, March 17 at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium in Cocodrie.
Derelict traps may be collected anytime during the cleanup period. Representative with LDWF and Louisiana Sea Grant will be available at each disposal site on the volunteer days beginning at 8:30 a.m. to distribute instructions, maps and supplies to volunteers, assist with the unloading of derelict traps and document the number of traps removed.
In order to conduct the trap clean-ups, crabfishermen must remove their crab traps from within the closure area during the closure period, and all remaining crab traps will be considered abandoned and may be removed by agency personnel or volunteers.
Restrictions to clean-up activities are as follows:
- Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
- Individuals removing crab traps may not possess these traps outside of the closure area; and, abandoned traps must be brought to designated disposal sites.
- Regulations do not provide authorization for public access to private property, as access can only be provided by individual landowners.
LDWF continues to seek volunteers to assist with the crab trap removal. Volunteers willing to participate in the trap clean-ups are encouraged to pre-register with Louisiana Sea Grant. Registration information, along with other clean-up information is available at: http://www.laseagrant.org/crabtraps/.
Volunteers collecting crab traps are asked to place the traps and buoys at the predetermined disposal sites.
Additional information may also be obtained from the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program web site www.derelictcrabtrap.net.
To view a map of the closures areas click here:
For St. Bernard/Plaquemines Parish description area and map, click here:
For Terrebonne Parish description area and map, click here:
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.