Derelict Fishing Gear Assessment and Retrieval 2014

In January 2013, CCS was awarded a NFWF Fishing For Energy grant to conduct sonar surveys and gear reclamation activities in Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet waters.  While much of the effort took place in March of 2013, we received a project extension and were able to  reserve some of the funds for a second effort this year.

Derelict fishing gear, or DFG, is the term used to describe lost, abandoned, jettisoned, or otherwise derelict gear used in commercial and recreational fisheries, including the trap/pot, drag, gillnet and hook fisheries.  To date, the project has removed over 17 tons of debris from the ocean floor.

Typically, recovering lost fishing gear involves dragging an iron grappling hook very slowly behind the boat, running the line over the hauling block, keeping a hand on the line to feel the tension and determine when the grapple has hooked into something.

MissLilly_grappling

In addition to DFG, recovery efforts have also procured a tire, a toilet, a boat battery, a rusted, busted anchor, 2″ hauser line, and a mermaid doll.

Miss-Lilly-grapple

Once the DFG is sorted and inventoried, “fishable” traps are set aside for their owners and “junk” traps are crushed with the rest of the debris to be sent to a reclamation facility.  Provincetown DPW has been very helpful with that process:

mermaid

Thanks to F/V Miss Lilly, F/V All In, F/V Little Sammy III and F/V Morgan Gayle for being part of the project.  And thanks to NFWF’s Fishing For Energy program for the funds to run this project over the course of two full seasons.

DPW2