New Jersey’s coastal bays play a large part of our state’s history, culture, and economy. Activities like crabbing and boating create lifelong memories, passed down from generation to generation. So whether you are a seasoned crabber or just getting started, a year-round local or a summer visitor, we all can do our part in reducing ghost pots within New Jersey’s coastal bays to ensure a safe and healthy ecosystem for all recreational users to enjoy! Below are some resources and tools for recreational crabbers and boaters about the issues around ghost pots and how to prevent marine debris.
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Using the proper gear is essential in preventing ghost pots. Check out this video from JC NERR Education Coordinator Kaitlin Gannon to learn how you can "Rig-It-Right"!
Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops to not only learn about proper rigging techniques, but also get a your own "Rig-It-Right" kit for FREE!
Your local bait and tackle shop should also have all of the proper equipment you need.
Knowing how to place a pot correctly increases the likelihood that it will still be there when you come back. Know the depth of the water you're fishing and use the correct length of line (double the high tide water depth). tides can be strong and it is important that you weight your trap to keep it from straying. Avoid setting traps in high traffic areas to prevent cut buoy lines.
When buoy lines are cut, or dragged beneath the surface due to improper rigging, ghost pots are created. Ghost pots pose a significant hazard to all boaters, especially those navigating the shallow waters of smaller bays and estuaries. To avoid cutting off pots or damaging your own vessel, slow down and pay close attention when in heavily potted areas. If possible, avoid heavily potted areas at night or in poor visibility .