by Hunter Dawkins

Tuesday morning, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) discussed the issue of derelict crab traps at the monthly Mississippi Advisory Commission of Marine Resources (MACMR), which was broadcast virtual in an attempt to stop the spread of the global pandemic virus; COVID-19 (coronavirus).

After the MACMR heard the proposal of the crab trap closure for all waters in Mississippi one-half mile of the mainland shoreline between January 15th and February 15th, the advisory board unanimously approved advising the executive director for the recommendation.

Under this adopted policy, crab fisherman would have first seven days of closure to remove their own traps from these areas, derelict trap removal would be allowed during the last three days of a 10-day closure, clean-up will be open to volunteers from the general public, and all licensed crab fishermen will be notified ahead of closure by mail-outs, legal notice and press release.

The sites for these drop-offs will be at Bayou Caddy in Hancock County, Ocean Springs Harbor, and Pascagoula Point Park.

While reviewing the financial budget comparison, 86.8% of the the fiscal year 2021 budget remained and 66.8% of the Tidelands Trust Fund was there for the MDMR agency.  Among revenue, the state agency’s revenue was $12.9 and their net income was $3.6 million.

On a final note, MDMR’s Chief Scientific Officer; Paul Mickle, is leaving the agency for a position at the Northern Gulf Institute.  Mickle served in this position at the agency for over 6 years.