The Northwest Straits initiative announced today that it will remove derelict crab pots from Boundary Bay, British Columbia, with funding from British Columbia’s Ministry of the Environment. The project will demonstrate effective removal methods and document impacts of derelict crab pots in British Columbia.
The project also includes removal of a purse seine net off of Pender Island.
“We know the impacts of derelict crab pots in Puget Sound to the crab fishery and they’re very significant,” said Ginny Broadhurst, Director of the Northwest Straits initiative. “It’s great to see that our Puget Sound work will help to jump start the Canadian project. It’s a perfect opportunity to share technical expertise.”
Surveys conducted in British Columbia Boundary Bay in January found more than 1,800 derelict crab pots in a small 5.5 square kilometer area.
Initiative crews hope to remove up to 120 of those pots during this removal project.
The Northwest Straits Initiative has removed more than 2,000 pots from Puget Sound and estimates more than 12,000 crab pots are lost in Puget Sound each year.
Each derelict pot can kill up to 22 harvestable crabs a year, even if legal escape cord is used. This costs the Puget Sound commercial crab fishery more than $800,000 in harvestable crabs each year.
The Northwest Straits Initiative is nationally recognized as an innovative approach to bring sound science and an ecosystem perspective together with citizen energy and entrepreneurship.
It began its derelict fishing net and crab pot removal program in 2002. For more information, visit www.nwstraits.org or www.derelictgear.org.