Ecosystem Considerations – Derelict Traps – FL Stone Crab

Derelict Traps

Crab trap loss is a factor that affects not only fishermen, but potentially the ecosystem in which traps are lost. Derelict stone crab traps have the potential to continue catching stone crab and other species, and a lost trap also has the potential to damage more sensitive bottom habitats such as corals. To address derelict traps, FWC implemented a trap clean-up program. Florida initially began trap retrieval programs in the 1990s as a state-led effort to clean up stone crab and lobster traps. There are currently two programs dedicated to lost or abandoned trap removal in Florida. The Spiny Lobster,  Stone Crab, and Blue Crab Trap Retrieval Program run by FWC contracts commercial fishermen each year to remove fishable traps from designated zones during closed seasons. FWC selects participant organizations through a competitive-bid process and payment to fishermen is made based on the number of traps retrieved and number of trips made for retrieval. FWC also maintains a Derelict Trap and Trap Debris Removal Program, which authorizes volunteer organizations to collect derelict traps during both open and closed seasons.

Previous: Species of Concern                                                                                                   Next: Fishery Interactions


Return to FL Stone Crab

Download the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide mobile app:
Click here for the app tutorial on YouTube.
Sponsored and coordinated by Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.