Gazebo Gazette

In February 2024, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) held a public cleanup collecting 398 derelict crab traps with the help of 91 public volunteers and crab fishermen.

The final number of traps recovered, as well as number of volunteers, during the derelict crab trap cleanup days held February 22-24 are as follows:

Collection Site                    Traps Recovered                    Site Volunteers

Bayou Caddy Boat Launch.              46                                               19

Ocean Springs Harbor.                     132                                             46

Pascagoula Point Park                      220                                             26

TOTAL                                                 398                                             91

The 2024 program was made possible by funding from the Mississippi Tidelands Trust Fund and by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law administered through NOAA, Gulf of Mexico Alliance and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. The MDMR commended the efforts of everyone who gave their time to come out this season and help make it a success.

Additionally, MDMR recognize the partnership with Owens Scrap Metal for the donation of construction dumpsters, Mississippi State University Coastal Extension Center staff and the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab Center for Fisheries Research and Development staff for their direct assistance in removal of derelict traps.

The Mississippi Derelict Crab Trap Removal program began in 1999. Through community engagement and collaboration with stakeholders, this program has facilitated the removal of over 22,400 traps from Mississippi waters to date.

This program has been successful due to continued input and assistance from commercial and recreational crab fishermen, who not only participate in the cleanup but also remove their active traps from the cleanup area in advance to differentiate between actively fished traps and those which are derelict.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes.

Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.