Coastal Federation to hire watermen for cleanup of old gear

By on September 16, 2013


Abandoned crab pots long the shoreline. (NOAA)

The N.C. Coastal Federation is accepting applications for fishermen to help get marine debris out of the water this winter.

In January 2014, the federation and the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will begin a pilot project to remove abandoned fishing gear from northeastern North Carolina waters.

With a grant from NOAA and North Carolina Sea Grant, commercial watermen will be employed to help the N.C. Marine Patrol during the period when the wire mesh crab pots are supposed to be out of the water, typically from Jan. 15 to Feb. 7.

This project is intended to improve habitat and water quality and support commercial watermen in northeastern North Carolina.

The collection will take place from the Currituck Sound southward to Oregon Inlet, including parts of the Albemarle Sound. Local fishermen with knowledge of these waters will be given preference.

Side-scan sonar will be used on a limited number of boats to detect abandoned gear underwater.

To qualify, fishermen must have filed at least one commercial landing trip ticket with the division’s Trip Ticket Program within the past year. Fishermen will receive $300 per day, and their mates will receive $100 per day.

Three days of work are guaranteed with acceptance to the program. About 12 fishermen will be accepted, and volunteers are also needed.

Applications are due on Oct. 15. Participants will be notified of acceptance by Nov. 1.

For more information and an application, contact Ladd Bayliss at 252.473.1607 or

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September 17, 2013 6:04 am

The picture above may look like litter to some of you, but it’s actually an efficient way to stabilize the shoreline. Debris and sand will get trapped in and around it, vegetation will take hold and the mud turf will grow to surround the pots. If this method of recycling old crab pots and stabilizing the shore while preventing erosion was thought up by some professor at NC State he would have been given a big fat grant to implement it. Now you are going to pay someone to destabilize the land because it appears to offend a few kayakers. The old saying about never taking down a fence until you understand why it was put up is fitting here too. I will admit that there are some of us who make our living on and around the water that are lazy and sometimes it’s too much trouble to bring in the pots that are in the worst shape at the end of the season. So they cut off the rope and iron and chunk it back overboard only to end up in a shrimp net some day. We all know someone like this. Every industry has them. But unless you plan to drag the sound, you’ll never get that cleaned up.

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