Cleanup and Retrieval of Derelict Crab Pots in Gastineau Channel

A view of the Sandy Beach area.

The Douglas Indian Association teamed up with the NOAA Marine Debris Program and other partners to survey and remove derelict Dungeness crab pots in a known crab harvest area of Gastineau Channel near Juneau, Alaska.

Type of Project: Community-Based Marine Debris Removal Grant

Region: Alaska

Project Dates: August 2016 – January 2018

Who is involved?
With the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Community-based Marine Debris Removal grant, the Douglas Indian Association (DIA) worked with a diverse group of local agencies and stakeholders to cooperatively detect, identify, remove, and dispose of derelict crab pots. This group included the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska State Troopers, the United States Coast Guard, Sealaska, as well as local fishers and community members who provided insight and input on crab pot locations and concentrations.

What is the project and why is it important?
This project worked to remove derelict Dungeness crab pots from the Sandy Beach area of Gastineau Channel, near Juneau, Alaska. To quantify and locate derelict crab pots present in the area, sonar surveys were conducted in partnership with Natural Resources Consultants, who have been involved in removal in the Puget Sound. The DIA contracted Fenn Enterprises, partnered with Aldrich Offshore Services LLC and Sealaska, to execute these sonar surveys, leveraging local expertise from Sealaska and the sonar experience of Fenn Enterprises and Aldrich Offshore Services. The DIA team then worked with support from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to use grappling devices for removal of the identified derelict crab pots.

Following removal, the project worked with Alaska State Troopers to identify gear for return to owners, auction, or recycling as scrap metal.