Derelict Crab Trap Clean-Ups and Institutional Partnerships for Conservation

derelict crab trap

The Taylor County Sheriff Office and the Florida Sea Grant-Taylor County Extension Office perform a derelict crab trap clean up in partnership with FDEP,USGS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF Nature Coast Biological Station and other volunteer groups in the coastal areas of Taylor County. Stone and blue crabs, snails, toadfish, sheepsheads, and a wide diverse of invertebrates were released from traps before removing.

Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program was created by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in 2004. This was created to remove derelict crab traps from state-owned lakes and river-beds and to reduce the potential impact from these traps

UF/IFAS Extension’s Contribution

Victor Blanco with Taylor County FWC Extension is not only about reaching out to our clientele for education focus on creating awareness, knowledge gain and behavior change to generate a long-term impact of our programs. In the process one of the main and key aspects is building partnerships with local Community-Based Organizations (CBO), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), businesses and especially with public organizations at the National, State, regional or local level. Despite conservation of our natural resources has become a “trend” in society, there is a real need to promote actions that address some of the direct and indirect effects that human activities have over coastal ecosystems and their resources.


Under the leadership of the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), on a yearly basis, different organizations have partnered to participate in a derelict crab traps clean-up activity on Deadman’s Bay, at the mouth of Steinhatchee river, on Taylor and Dixie counties. The activity involves Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension, the Nature Coast Biological Station (NCBS), the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the US Geological Service (USGS) and the Taylor County Sheriff Office. Between January and February 2020 two activities were held Taylor County FWC removing around 300 derelict traps weighing over 4,500 lbs. Taylor County Extension estimates that at least 1,000 traps are left in the water every year and become derelict, which have an impact on the ecosystem and the coastal resources as they become ghost fishing gear, that traps and kill fish. These activities align with UF/IFAS Extension mission and have a positive impact on the environment and in the perception of residents and visitors on our institutions and the health of our coastal areas. Keep our environment healthy!! Leave nothing but memories!!

Derelict Trap and Trap Debris Removal Program Volunteer Opportunities

Crab traps floating in the Crystal River

This program provides a mechanism to authorize volunteer groups to collect derelict traps and trap debris during open or closed seasons. Volunteer groups may remove derelict traps and trap debris from state waters when they organize a cleanup event and obtain authorization from the FWC. These volunteer cleanup events may take place during the open or closed seasons, and must adhere to guidelines

Find more information about derelict traps removal program at and download the Derelict crab trap removal manual at


Posted: December 8, 2020

Category: Coasts & Marine
Tags: Big Bend, Clean-up, Crab Traps, Fishing Gear, Ghost Fishing, Gulf Of Mexico, Habitat Conservation, Nature Coast, Partnership, Traps Removal, Volunteers

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