Archive for February 12th, 2013

Angling: Ghost Fishing

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Crab Trap Cleanup Art Morris, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Crab Trap Cleanup Art Morris, © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

This is Passport to Texas

There are ghosts in the gulf that silently trap and kill thousands of marine species annually.

09— They are a perpetual trapping machine. When something gets caught in there, it has nothing to eat and it dies, and it becomes bait and it attracts other fish and other organisms.

That’s Art Morris…ghost buster. Actually, he’s a biologist with Coastal Fisheries. The entities he’s after are abandoned crab traps…adrift in the gulf…ghost fishing.

09—And one of the key things about this, because they’re targeting for crabs, that’s the number one species that we see—the targeted organisms is what we’re losing to these derelict traps.

Weather and vandalism are the primary reasons why traps end up adrift, indiscriminately ensnaring crustaceans and other sea life. Morris says since 2002, more than 29-thousand of these A.W.O.L. traps have been removed from Texas bays.

12—A single trap can kill 26 blue crabs per trap per year. And we can extrapolate those numbers out and we estimate somewhere in the area of half million blue crabs are saved through this program alone—or have to date.

Morris hasn’t removed these traps alone—he’s had a lot of help from volunteers during annual crab trap clean ups. Your chance to help rid the gulf of ghost fishing happens next month… details tomorrow.

That’s our show…with support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.