Commercial fishermen hired by the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s annual Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project collected 4,270 lost and derelict crab pots this year from sounds up and down the state’s coast.
The project was able to hire 72 fishermen during a week and a half timeframe in January to remove the crab pots. Thanks to a $100,000 appropriation from the General Assembly, this was the first time the project had expanded beyond northeastern North Carolina. The program extended across three North Carolina Marine Patrol districts along the state’s coast, from the Virginia state line to the South Carolina line.
Crab pots are considered a hazard for both commercial and recreational fishermen. They get caught in the propellers of boats in shallow waters, and also continue to trap and kill crabs, fish and other marine life that find their way inside.
In this video created by Swell Productions, based on the Outer Banks, fishermen explain what working on the project has meant to them.
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