Disposal bin aims to keep fishing gear out of Barnegat Bay
WARETOWN, NJ – A new disposal bin for marine debris and discarded fishing gear will be placed in Waretown next year to prevent debris from entering Barnegat Bay.
Lost, abandoned and discarded fishing gear can threaten important marine life, according to officials at the Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) and Fishing for Energy.
In 2021, CWF received a grant of $ 14,960 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to remove up to five tonnes of marine debris from Barnegat Bay, including abandoned crab pots, to reduce entanglements in ‘wild animals in the waters of the coastal marshes.
The new bin is expected to collect several tonnes of crab traps abandoned over the past two years.
Abandoned crab pots continue to kill sea crabs, turtles and fish as long as they are lost and therefore unchecked, officials said. In New Jersey, local fishermen estimate that 10 percent of their crab traps are lost each year.
Northern cruciferous turtle, blue crab, American eel, plaice, black bass, Atlantic croaker, perch, catfish, spot, tautog, toadfish Oysters, whelks, black fish and rufous sponge are among the many marine species affected by ghost crab traps.
Fishing for Energy is a public-private partnership that offers commercial fishermen a free solution to get rid of abandoned fishing gear or lost, abandoned or discarded gear.
The partnership offers conveniently located collection bins to dispose of old fishing gear, making it easier for fishing communities to deal with the problem of abandoned gear and ultimately reducing the amount of gear that ends up in coastal waters.
The partnership also recycles metal material and in some cases may even process leftover material and debris to generate renewable energy at power generation facilities from Covanta’s waste.
The disposal bin will be placed and ready for collection in late winter 2022, officials said.
Over the next few years, CWF aims to increase its participation in marine debris removal efforts to help provide clean and safe habitats for local wildlife.
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