Accelerating Removal of Derelict Crab Traps Plaguing Coastal Louisiana

Seven people organize piles of wire crab traps on a pier in Louisiana.

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, partnering with other local agencies and volunteers, will remove thousands of derelict crab traps from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. They will also provide data to analyze the economic impact of derelict crab traps on the Louisiana blue crab fishery.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Gulf of Mexico

Project Dates: September 2019 - August 2021

Who is involved?
With the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Removal Grant, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Master Naturalists, Common Ground Relief, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, local universities, and volunteers, will remove thousands of derelict crab traps from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.The project will focus their work in an area of the lake that will be closed by the state of Louisanna in 2020 and 2021.

What is the project and why is it important?
This project will remove approximately 23–34 tons (about 46,000-68,000 pounds) of derelict crab traps from an area within the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation will also collect data to analyze the economic impact of derelict crab traps on the Louisiana blue crab fishery. Using the estimate that about 25 crabs are killed per derelict trap each year, this effort could prevent approximately 300,000 to 450,000 blue crabs from being caught in the next three years.