NOVEMBER 20, 2020

North Carolina: Commercial Fishers Needed for Lost Gear Removal Project

Commercial fishers with a valid standard commercial fishing license and guaranteed availability for work this winter are encouraged to join an effort to remove lost fishing gear from state waters.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is accepting applications, available here, until Dec. 15 from those qualified to participate in the Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project, part of a statewide marine debris removal effort.

The 2021 project will take place Jan. 1-31 north of the N.C. 58 bridge that connects Emerald Isle to Cape Carteret in Carteret County and from March 1-15 south of the N.C. 58 bridge.

Participants will help the federation and North Carolina Marine Patrol remove lost fishing gear during the no-potting period, which is the annual window internal coastal waters are closed to all crab, eel, fish and shrimp pots.

Participants, who must provide their own vessel, must attend a mandatory training session to learn general project protocol and how to use project equipment.

Compensation is $450 per boat, per day. Each boat is required to have two people onboard for safety reasons. The number of assigned working days will vary per area, but is expected to be a minimum of three days.

The Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project is funded by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Resource Fund Committee and the Funding Committee for the N.C. Commercial Resource Fund under the Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Grant Program. It is intended to improve habitat and water quality, as well as support coastal economies.

In January 2019, commercial fishers, in partnership with Marine Patrol officers, removed 3,112 pots from select areas in the state’s three districts.

A limited number of positions will be filled per region. Completed applications can be mailed to P.O. Box 276, Wanchese, NC 27981, or faxed to 252-473-2402. For more information, contact Sara J. Hallas at 252-473-1607 or sarajh@nccoast.org.