Searching for Derelict Crab Traps

One of the program areas Sea Grant intends to focus on in Escambia County during 2014 is the reduction of marine debris. Most citizens in our county are aware of the problem and the harm monofilament fishing line can cause. Another issue are derelict (or ghost) crab traps. These are traps, for whatever reason, have been abandoned by their owners but remain in the water and continue to catch marine life; many times commercially valuable ones. You can read more in this topic by visiting the MARINE SCIENCE section of this website.

Derelict crab trap with terrapins (Photo: Molly O'Connor)
Derelict crab trap with terrapins (Photo: Molly O’Connor)

During the winter months local tides are stronger and low tide exposes many areas of bay bottom exposing derelict crab traps. We are asking citizens to look for these during low tide and report their locations to Rick O’Connor at the county extension office; 475-5230. It is against Florida law for anyone to handle another’s crab trap (even if it is derelict) so please do not remove it. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission schedules crab trap removal events and knowing their location will make these efforts more effective. To read more on these crab trap removal events visit We appreciate your help.


Posted: January 3, 2014

Category: Conservation, Natural Resources, Water
Tags: Commercial Fisheries, Derelict Crab Traps, Marine Debris, Recreational Fisheries, Terrapins, Wildlife Conservation

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