Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crabbing? Grab some Rotten Cotton

I think this is the longest vacation I've ever taken from blogging! I don't even have the excuse of having been on vacation. Just a busy summer with kids...

Edible crabImage via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago, we stumbled upon a Beach Expo with lots of cool info for keeping our beaches and waters clean. One of the most interesting displays had to do with crabbing.

I've actually not yet taken my own kids crabbing, but I do have great memories of doing it with my husband's brothers when they were young. If you live near water (and crabs!) it's a fun thing to do with kids. Although you can crab from a dock, it's more exciting to actually get out on the water in a little boat and drop the crabpots filled with bait.

This is where we get to the rotten cotton part... It's estimated that over 12,000 crabpots are lost every year (lines cut by boats, dropped too deep, etc.) in Puget Sound alone. These pots will continue to catch crabs for years to come. It's one thing to catch and eat a crab, but an estimated 180,000 crabs are being caught each year and then just starving to death in the pots.

Newer crab pots have an opening in the top for the crabs to climb out. The idea is that you tie cotton string around the metal opening to close it when you're crabbing. This keeps the crabs in for your expedition, but, if by chance you lose your pot, the string will deteriorate and you won't have added to the crab graveyard. Unfortunately, not all pots have these openings and the ones that do are frequently closed with plastic zipties which will last forever underwater.

Check out the Escape Cord website for more info on how to prevent lost pots in the first place and pass the word on to any crabbers you know!

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