BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says volunteers will remove unused crab traps from state waters early next year.
The department says the cleanup is for waters within a half mile (.8 kilometer) of Deer Island and the mainland shoreline from the Alabama/Mississippi border to the Mississippi/Louisiana border.
From Jan. 21-27, all commercial and recreational crab fishermen must remove their own traps from closure areas in Mississippi waters. The department said it is illegal to remove traps licensed to another person outside the approved trap removal dates.
From Jan. 28-30, all traps remaining in the water will be considered derelict and will be removed and recycled. Volunteers may remove remaining traps and drop them for recycling at Point Park in Pascagoula, Ocean Springs Harbor and Pleasure Street Boat Launch in Bay St. Louis.
Beginning Jan. 31, active traps may be returned to Mississippi territorial waters and crab fishing may resume.
The Mississippi has removed and recycled almost 22,000 crab traps since 1999.