Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Program
Every year, crab pots and other fishing gear are lost in our sounds. The Federation and local partners work to remove these pots, which are hazardous to boats and marine life.
Since 2014, the Federation has led the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project in an effort to remove lost crab pots from North Carolina sounds. Crab pots can become lost in a variety of ways, including large weather events. With the help of various partners, commercial fishermen are hired to collect the pots during the pot closure period. This project creates opportunities for work during slower times of the year due to colder waters and what is now a month-long blue crab fishery closure, which is longer than in years past.
NC Coastal Federation works to remove lost crab pots with the help of fishermen – WNCT9
This program, which began in northeastern North Carolina waters and has since expanded statewide, improves fish habitat and water quality and supports the coastal economy. The expansion of the program enabled the Federation to hire more significant numbers of commercial fishermen to collect a greater number of lost pots.
This program is funded by the North Carolina General Assembly, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.
From 2014-2016, the Federation and partners conducted this project only in the first marine patrol district, or northeastern North Carolina waters. Over the three years, 41 total fishermen were employed in the following areas: Albemarle, Croatan, Currituck, Pamlico, and Roanoke Sounds; Alligator River; Bulls and Kitty Hawk Bay.
From Crab Pot to Oyster Reef
2017 Statewide Expansion
- Final report for the project, 2021
- Final report for the project, 2018-19
- Final report for the project, 2017-18
- Coastal Review Online’s coverage of the 2017 project
- Final report for the project, 2016-17
- Final report on the 2014 lost fishing gear recovery project
- 2016 project summary
You can help clean up our coast—from hurricane debris to microplastics.