TALLAHASSEE — The planned 10-day closure on blue crab traps in Northwest Florida has ended early, with traps allowed back in the water today.
Recreational and commercial blue crab traps in state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Florida/Alabama state line through the Franklin/Wakulla county line were removed from the water starting Jan. 5 so the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission could remove derelict and abandoned traps. The traps were removed more quickly than expected, FWC said, and traps can be replaced Wednesday morning.
Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water, according to FWC. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.