Sparrows Point operation underway to remove abandoned crab pots from Chesapeake Bay – CBS Baltimore

SPARROWS POINT, Md. (WJZ) — Aquarians from the Baltimore area are now on a mission to remove abandoned crab pots that are harming crabs, other marine life and their livelihoods.

13 crews of mermen have been hired by the non-profit group Oyster Recovery Partnership for a project to remove the crab pots.

“Gea remover under this program is supporting Baltimore County with positive and localized action for this area by removing unmanaged gear that would otherwise compete with active gear,” said station Slacum, the Executive Director for Oyster Recovery Partnership.

The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability provided a $125,000 grant to the nonprofit group to manage the collaborative project.

The goal is to get the pots off the bottom of the bay in the first two weeks of March.

“We’re trying to pull out between 50 and 70 percent of the approximately 3,000 pots we’ve identified 2000 hectares out there in the bay,” County said executive Johnny Olszewski.

The pots were identified earlier this year using side-scan sonar technology, which can map what’s at the bottom of the bay.

The crab pots are usually lost in storms or ripped loose by ship propellers.

No one want to lose equipment. Eventually it happens,” said Matthew Wiley, an Aquarius.

Estimated 3.3 million Crabs are killed annually in the Chesapeake Bay by the abandoned crab pots according to on a 2016 study by Virginia institute of marine sciences.

The salvaged pots will be recycled or disposed of by the Baltimore County Department of Public Works and Transportation.

Crews also document the condition of each pot found, reporting whether it contained crabs, fish, or other items.

The Oyster Recovery Partnership will complete an analysis of the project this summer and report the findings to the county. Sparrows Point operation underway to remove abandoned crab pots from Chesapeake Bay – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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