SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is preparing to launch a blue crab restoration program in April, but first, it will put crab fishermen to work removing derelict crab traps from waterways and marshes in the three coastal counties.
"The derelict crab trap removal program has been very successful in the past and we believe it will have a positive impact on the environment and the industry by putting the fishermen to work before the season gets into full swing," said Jamie Miller, executive director of the DMR. "It is necessary every few years to clear our waterways and marsh of crab traps that are hazards to wildlife and humans."
The crab fishermen will be paid with disaster funds received in 2014 for damage caused by the 2011 opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
The DMR will hold informational meetings for eligible participants next Tuesday in the auditorium of the Bolton Building. The first meeting will be held at 9 a.m. and the second meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m.
Here's who will be eligible to participate in the program:
Mississippi commercial crab fishermen who had a resident commercial crab trap license from May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012. In addition, eligible participants must have held a resident commercial crab trap license in at least one of the following three seasons: May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2008; May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009; or May 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010.
Eligible participants will have to bring photo ID and all licenses and vessel documentation to the meetings.