Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM)
In the winter of 2019/2020, five commercial watermen spent a cumulative total of 120 removal days on the water and collected 971 derelict blue crab traps which contained 985 blue crabs, 239 fish (oyster toad fish, black sea bass, flounder, pig fish, striped bass, speckled trout, perch, butterfish), 31 diamond back terrapin (a listed “species of concern”), and one duck. A majority of the traps removed were metal as opposed to vinyl coated (83% and 17%, respectively). Bycatch was present in 43% (346) of metal traps and 44% (72) of vinyl coated traps removed. On average, the instantaneous capture rates were similar for both trap types with an average of 1.0 crab captured per trap and 0.25 fish captured per trap. In addition, 10 abandoned eel traps were removed which contained 2 blue crabs, 3 fish, and 1eel.
Derelict crab traps, bycatch
Final Programmatic Report Narrative
Havens, K. J., Bilkovic, D., Stanhope, D., Angstadt, K., & Scheld, A. M. (2020) Targeted “Hotspot” Removal of Derelict Blue Crab Traps (VA, MD). Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary. https://doi.org/10.25773/pdsg-2987