DMR gearing up for Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program

DMR gearing up for Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The Department of Marine Resources is gearing up for its most successful environmental program.

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program will kick off again in the spring.

The Commission on Marine Resources gave the go-ahead for the project to proceed in April. Since 1999, crab fishermen have helped the DMR remove nearly 20,000 abandoned crab traps from area waterways.

Officials say such traps also hurt the marine environment.

"Once they're in the environment and not being actively run, they do continue to ghost fish," Rick Burris said. "So while they're out there, all the crabs and fish and other organisms get in there and can't get out cause somebody is not actively running them."

The Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program was the first on the Gulf of Mexico, and has won several EPA "Guardian of the Gulf" awards for its ongoing success.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.