Commercial and recreational blue crab traps in state waters from the Palm Beach-Borward County Line to the Pasco-Hernando County Line must be removed from the water by July 10, the first day of the trap closing.10 days. The closure provides an opportunity for teams authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Authority to locate and recover lost and abandoned blue crab fisheries from the water.
Starting on July 20, the traps can be returned to the water. Until then, blue crabs can be caught with other equipment, such as dipping nets and collapsible traps. If the traps are attached to a pier or other private property, blue crab collectors can use standard blue crab traps while closed.
If it is determined that it will take less time to eliminate the number of lost and abandoned traps in the area, the duration of the closure may be reduced.
Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem for blue crab fishing because they can constantly catch crabs and fish when thrown into the water. They are vulnerable to the marine environment and can damage sensitive habitats and pose a parasitism risk to ships.
The closure is one of three 10-day regional closures of blue lobster traps for 2021. There are six regional closures in total: three in an equal number of years on the East Coast and three in an odd number of years on the East Coast. Gulf and South Florida.
While the state’s waters last nine nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico, the blue crab trap covers only three nautical miles off the coast of both.
You can find more information about the FWC Trap Recovery Program, blue crab trap closing dates, regulations, and cleanup events online by clicking on MyFWC.com/Marine “The trap and the litter”. For more information, call FWC Engine Recovery Coordinator Pamela Grover at 850-487-0554.