Ghost Trap & Marine Debris Rodeo
Coral Gables, Florida
July 16, 2023
On July 16th, 2023, Captain Till Koerber, Chief Programs Officer Tony Gilbert, and Program Development Manager Aubri Keith represented The International SeaKeepers Society in a Ghost Trap & Marine Debris Rodeo aboard SeaKeepers’ vessel DISCOVERY in Biscayne Bay. The event was created by Ocean Aid 360 and the Coastal Conservation Association with funding by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to remove illegal and derelict traps from local Florida waters during the 10 day period that the blue crab fisheries are closed every other year. Local partners that came to support this event were VolunteerCleanup.org, Friends of Biscayne Bay, Miami Waterkeeper, Miami-Dade County, NOAA, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Liquid Death, and Dream State Brewing. All vessels that participated received an FWC permit to remove the derelict traps from the water and tools to inventory species that were caught in the traps and released by volunteers. Through the combined effort of all participants, 61 derelict blue crab, stone crab, and lobster traps were recovered as well as several floating lines and buoys resulting in a total weight 2100 pounds of debris removed from the water making Biscayne Bay that much safer for marine life.
The goal of The International SeaKeepers Society's participation in a Ghost Trap & Marine Debris Rodeo is to support our local partners and community in removing ghost traps, lines, and marine debris from Biscayne Bay that poses a threat to marine life.