Derelict Fishing Gear Project Goes Public"It Takes Decades to Disintegrate, but Only Seconds to Report."
These words, appearing on a colorful poster now going to bait shops, marinas and other boat-friendly venues-- inform readers about the serious problem of derelict fishing gear. (Click here to see the poster, a PDF document.)
These nets, traps and similar objects that are lost or abandoned by commercial and sports fisherman pose extreme hazards to marine wildlife, people and boats. The statement also includes a challenge: asking members of the public to step up and report sightings of such abandoned gear to the clean-up program, the California Derelict Fishing Gear Removal Project.
Kirsten Gilardi, director of the Sea Doc Society, has identified sea urchin divers in California who are interested in training for and participating in the pilot project to remove hazardous fishing gear. Their work is to take place this Spring and into 2007.
Along with planning and management progress taking place in connection with the project, the outreach poster for the project is being broadly distributed with an informational card to ports, marinas, businesses, harbors, bait shops, dive shops and clubs along the California coast during February and March.
For now, the program is a pilot project; however, project managers say that discussions are already underway to join a national effort to remove derelict fishing gear from waterways.
In April 2003, the SeaDoc Society launched its Sound and Straits Campaign to secure a healthy and sustainable ecosystem for ourselves and the generations to come. For more information about how to support the SeaDoc Society, please contact:
Anne Stoltz, Director of Development and Communications
3213 West Wheeler, Suite 225
Seattle, WA 98199
Seattle Office: (206) 281-9987