MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — 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.
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 Eric Zimmerman (eight 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.
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.