What is derelict gear?
Derelict fishing gear includes fishing nets, lines, crab and shrimp traps or other equipment that is abandoned or lost in the marine environment. Derelict fishing gear is long-lasting marine debris that poses many problems to people and to marine animals, including: Entangling divers and swimmers; Trapping and wounding or killing fish, shellfish, birds and marine mammals; Degrading marine ecosystems and sensitive habitats; Damaging propellers and rudders of recreational boats, commercial and military vessels.
As of March 31, 2014, the Northwest Straits Initiative has removed 4,702 derelict fishing nets, 3,265 crab pots, and 47 shrimp pots from Puget Sound, restoring 672.3 acres of critical marine habitat.
You Tube Video- KCTS9-Puget Sound Matters:Derelict Gear
There are three easy ways to reporting derelict gear and no penalties associated with reporting lost fishing gear:
Report loss net gear within 24 hours of loss.
Online Derelict Fishing Gear Reporting Form: http://www.derelictgeardb.org/reportgear.aspx
Report Derelict Gear call: 360-733-1725 (Northwest Straits Initiative)
Report Derelict Gear Reporting Hotline: 1-855-542-3935 (WDFW)
It is important that our tribal fishermen do their part in reporting lost fishing gear.