East coast blue crab trap closure starts Aug. 20
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-487-0554
Recreational and commercial blue crab traps must be removed from state waters (shore to 3 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways) from the Georgia-Florida state line through Volusia County Aug. 20 through 29. All waters of the St. John’s River system are excluded in this closure.
This closure will give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.
Closures may be reduced in duration if it will take less time to remove the number of lost and abandoned traps in the region.
Until the trap season reopens, blue crabs may be harvested with other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps. Blue crab harvesters may also use standard blue crab traps during the closure if the traps are attached to a dock or other private property.
Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.
This closure is one of three regional, 10-day blue crab trap closures that occur in 2014 on the Atlantic coast of Florida. There are six regional closures total: three in odd-numbered years on the west coast and three in even-numbered years on the east coast.
For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go online to MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing” then “Trap Retrieval/Debris Removal”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap retrieval coordinator, Kyle Miller, at 850-487-0554.