A SCUBA diver jumps off of the side of a boat into the water.

Derelict Crab Pot Removal and Prevention in Skagit County, Washington

The Northwest Straits Foundation, through a collaborative research partnership with Natural Resources Consultants, will conduct a two-year derelict crab pot removal and prevention project in the marine waters of Skagit County, Washington.

Type of Project: Removal

Region: Pacific Northwest

Project Dates: December 2021 - November 2023

Who is involved?
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is partnering with the Northwest Straits Foundation to remove derelict fishing gear in the marine waters of Skagit County, Washington. Working with Natural Resources Consultants through a collaborative research partnership, they are addressing derelict fishing gear issues throughout the larger Puget Sound region.

What is the project and why is it important?
In 2018, Northwest Straits Foundation, in partnership with Natural Resources Consultants, conducted a derelict crab pot removal project within Skagit County, which resulted in the removal of 480 derelict crab pots, 352 (73%) of which were commercial crab pots. These results showed a need and opportunity to engage with commercial fleets to develop a commercial derelict crab pot outreach campaign in Skagit County. 

Building off of these results, this new project focuses on tribal and state commercial fleets, and includes derelict crab pot removal and crabber outreach and prevention efforts. The Northwest Straits Foundation is engaging with tribal and state commercial crabbers, which utilize the Padilla Bay and Anacortes Bay fishing grounds, by including them in crab pot removal and working with them to identify causes and solutions to commercial pot loss. Vessel and dive crews from the commercial fleets are being recruited for derelict crab pot removal training, provided by the Northwest Straits Foundation, and are being employed for the project’s dive removal operations. The project is also carrying out an outreach campaign to prevent the re-accumulation of derelict crab pots. Northwest Straits Foundation hopes to subsequently expand this effort and reduce commercial pot loss throughout the Salish Sea.

For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.

Last updated Thu, 04/14/2022 - 01:48 pm EDT