BILOXI, Miss. – Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced Thursday that the agency will begin the initial processing next week for a Blue Crab Restoration Program.
This program will consist of removing derelict crab traps from the Mississippi Sound, waterways and marshes in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties.
“The derelict crab trap removal program has been very successful in the past and we believe it will have a positive impact on the environment and the industry by putting the fishermen to work before the season gets into full swing,” said Jamie M. Miller, executive director of the MDMR. “It is necessary every few years to clear our waterways and marsh of crab traps that are hazards to wildlife and humans.”
MDMR will hold informational meetings for eligible participants at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in the auditorium of the Bolton Building. Eligible participants also will be able to sign up for the program at the meetings.
The program will begin sometime in April.
Those who qualify include Mississippi commercial crab fishermen who had a resident commercial crab trap license from May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012. In addition, eligible participants must have held a resident commercial crab trap license in at least one of the following three seasons: May 1, 2007 through April 30, 2008; May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2009; or May 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010.
Eligible participants will need to bring photo identification and all applicable licenses and vessel documentation.
The MDMR will pay the fishermen using disaster funds received in 2014 as a result of the damages to the crab fishery from the 2011 opening of the Bonnet Carré spillway.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.
Source: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources