The Ball Street Journal

The Student News Site of Ball High School

The Ball Street Journal

The Ball Street Journal

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Ghost Fishing

The Gulf of Mexico provides Texans with an abundance of natural resources to harvest and recreational activities for Texans of every age. However, along the seafloor, forgotten crab traps litter a barren landscape, affecting wildlife and humans alike. These abandoned traps continue to capture crabs and fish alike, a phenomenon that is called “ghost fishing.”

They abandoned traps keep trapping animal life for months, if not years, unattended. Unmarked, abandoned crab traps also cause problems for boaters, who accidentally get caught up in them and must pay thousands of dollars in repairs. Across the Gulf Coast, governments are deploying their own solutions to this problem.

In 2002, the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program in Texas was conducted after the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1410, removing 8,070 lost traps from our coast. The Coastal Conservation Association gained a $11,000 grant from the Fish America Foundation to fund the efforts, making them a key supporter. Since the first removal, the program has recovered more than 40,000 traps from Gulf waters.

For 10 days out of February, every bay in Texas is closed to allow for removal of the traps. Volunteers go out on the bays to help with the guidance of Texas Fish and Wildlife, who regulate the program. With hard work, organization, and dedication, we can improve our water systems for both animals and the next generation of humanity.

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