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Removal of derelict fishing gear has major economic impact

by David Malmquist | January 21, 2016

Study shows Bay watermen earned extra $20M from removal of ghost pots

A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science
shows that a 6-year program to remove derelict crab pots from lower
Chesapeake Bay generated more than $20 million in harvest value for area
watermen.

Lead author Andrew Scheld, an assistant professor at VIMS, says “it’s
well known that derelict fishing gear can harm the environment and
increase crab mortality, but the economic impacts of this ‘ghost
fishing’ have rarely been quantified. Our study shows that VIMS’
collaborative efforts to remove ghost crab pots from the lower Bay led
to an additional 13,504 metric tons in harvest valued at $21.3 million—a
27% increase above that which would have occurred had the pots stayed in
place.”

The study, co-authored by VIMS professors Donna Bilkovic and Kirk
Havens, appears in today’s issue of Scientific Reports, an online,
open-access journal from the publishers of Nature. The research was
supported by NOAA’ s Marine Debris Program.



Removal of derelict fishing gear has major economic impact

11. Mai 2016