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Derelict crab trap identification and removal in Barnegat Bay

This study by Dr. Mark Sullivan and colleagues at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey assessed the prevalence of derelict, or ghost, crab pots in heavily fished waters of Barnegat Bay. Using advanced side-scan sonar techniques, the researchers were able to document the relative abundance and location of lost or discarded crab pots, which were then retrieved by local crabbers. The contents of the pots were documented in an effort to determine what impacts these gear may be having on the local fauna. An outreach program was developed to help educate boaters and bay users about the proper construction methods for crab traps and pots in an effort to lessen pot loss.