Trapped Terps in Crab Pots Highlight Need for Turtle Excluders - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Trapped Terps in Crab Pots Highlight Need for Turtle Excluders

Posted: Updated:
Dead terrapins found in Ocean City (Photo: WBOC) Dead terrapins found in Ocean City (Photo: WBOC)

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. - A good Samaritan pulled a crab pot from the bay over the weekend in Ocean City only to find the pot filled with dead terrapins, rather than crabs.

Ocean City Animal Control responded to the call and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program looked into the incident as well.  About 20 terps were found rotting in the crab pot pulled from the bay in different stages of decay.  Officials with the Coastal Bays Program say the unfortunate situation is one that is avoidable.  Crab pots can get loose in normally one of two ways.

"One is a recreational crabber on a dock, it cuts loose, they don't pay attention, and they can float out into the bay," said Sandi Smith of the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.  "And the other is potentially a boater may have run over a commercial crab pot which usually will cut it from the buoy."

The pot found over the weekend in Ocean City was a commercial crab pot.  A commercial pot is not required to have any by-catch release devices, or turtle excluders, attached to them.  However, any recreational crab pots are required to have four of the square devices attached to them.  The turtle excluders are metal or plastic squares that allow crabs into the pots but are too small for terrapins to get through.  Use of the devices has been promoted by the National Aquarium, along with the Maryland Coastal Bays Program in a new PSA.  Having the excluders on a pot is very important for recreational crabbers.

"If someone doesn't have them, they can be fined up to $1,000," Smith said.

Saving the turtles is the ultimate goal with these devices and while the incident with the dead terps is certainly sad, the Coastal Bays Program is hoping to turn the situation into a positive.

"If even one person calls the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and asks for a by-catch reduction device and they take it and put it on their crab pot, we would hope that would save at least one, two, possibly over 20 turtles," Smith said.

For information on how to install a turtle excluder on your recreational crab pot, be sure to visit this page for instructions.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • MSP Trooper Injured in Crash with Intoxicated Driver

    MSP Trooper Injured in Crash with Intoxicated Driver

    Sunday, May 28 2017 7:44 AM EDT2017-05-28 11:44:03 GMT
    Sunday, May 28 2017 7:44 AM EDT2017-05-28 11:44:03 GMT

    Maryland State Police officials said a trooper was injured Saturday night when his cruiser was involved in an accident with a drunk driver. 

    More

    Maryland State Police officials said a trooper was injured Saturday night when his cruiser was involved in an accident with a drunk driver. 

    More
  • Virginia State Police Mourn the Loss of Special Agent

    Virginia State Police Mourn the Loss of Special Agent

    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:58 PM EDT2017-05-28 01:58:12 GMT
    Saturday, May 27 2017 9:58 PM EDT2017-05-28 01:58:12 GMT
    Special Agent Michael T. Walter, 45Special Agent Michael T. Walter, 45

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia State Police are mourning the loss of an officer shot following a traffic stop Friday night. 

    More

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia State Police are mourning the loss of an officer shot following a traffic stop Friday night. 

    More
  • Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    Dover Leaders Say High-Crime Areas Will be Saturated With Police

    Friday, May 26 2017 8:40 PM EDT2017-05-27 00:40:44 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 11:23 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:23:35 GMT

    DOVER, Del. -- After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city. Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school. "We are not going to ease up on the people that are using our city to c...

    More

    DOVER, Del. -- After a number of shooting incidents in recent weeks, Dover's mayor and police chief on Friday announced officers will be focusing their efforts in high-crime areas in the city. Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen said the effort comes after the city has seen more than 20 shooting incidents in 2017 and at a time when the summer is fast approaching and children and teenagers will be leaving school. "We are not going to ease up on the people that are using our city to c...

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices