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To Help Environment, Certain Harvesters Must Remove All Blue Crab Traps From Fla. Waters

Tim Donovan
FWC's Flickr
Stuart Cumberbatch removes a blue crab trap

Starting Thursday, blue crab harvesters can no longer have their traps in North Florida waters. The goal is for Florida wildlife officials to use that 10-day period to get rid of lost and abandoned blue crab traps, which can have a negative impact on the environment and boaters.

From Thursday until July 30th, blue crab harvesters are under a 10-day trap closure and cannot have any traps in state waters from Hernando through Wakulla counties. It includes all the waters of the Ochlocknee River and Bay.

“And, what that allows us to do is allows us to find and remove lost and abandoned blue crab traps,” said Amanda Nalley, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman. “And, this is important because lost and abandoned blue crab traps can be an issue because they continue to trap both crabs and other species, and they can also cause damage to sensitive habitats when a storm comes along, these traps can get moved around and they can even pose navigational hazards to boaters in the water.”

Still, during this 10-day trap closure, blue crabs can be harvested using other gear, like dip nets and fold-up traps. Standard blue crab traps can also be used if attached to a dock or other private property.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.