Public Invited to Join Channelkeeper's Lobster Trap Removal Event on May 21
On Saturday, May 21, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, the public is invited to help Channelkeeper’s Watershed Brigade remove derelict lobster traps from Black Rock Beach below More Mesa.
More than 80 lobster traps have drifted ashore from a fishing area off More Mesa. Channelkeeper’s Watershed Brigade plans to gather to remove these traps from the beach. Volunteers will use hand-tools to dig out buried traps, remove rocks and debris, and stage traps for removal offshore to a commercial fishing boat. Commercial fisherman Chris Voss from Fishermen of Santa Barbara and his team will provide vessel support to load traps and transport them to the Santa Barbara Harbor for proper recovery and disposal.
Derelict lobster traps can entangle marine wildlife, release microplastics, create safety hazards for vessels and beachgoers, and wash up on beaches as pollution. The U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife calls marine debris “one of the most pervasive threats to the health of the world’s coastal areas, oceans, and waterways.”
In 2017, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) implemented a lobster trap tag system to track lost gear and aid in its recovery. According to CDFW, during the 2019-2020 season, a total of 6,503 lobster traps were reported as lost off California’s coast, a statistic considered low because it reflects only the losses that were reported. The Santa Barbara Channel was identified as a hotspot for lost traps due to the high level of catch and fishing effort that occurs here.
“It’s amazing what a motivated group of community members can accomplish when we work together as a team. We’re excited for this chance to keep one of our local beaches pristine again and free of fishing gear. We hope that many more volunteers decide to join us,” said Channelkeeper Science and Policy Director, Benjamin Pitterle.
Volunteers will gather at the east end of the Goleta Beach parking lot (close to the slough) at 8:00 am. We will walk together about 1.5 miles east down the beach to remove traps. We highly recommend that participants wear a hat, sunscreen, appropriate clothing for wading in the surf zone, and shoes that can get wet. It’s also advisable to bring water, gloves, and a towel to dry off. All volunteers will be required to sign liability waivers.
Sign up here: https://bit.ly/3Pl3VVV
Black Rock Beach Lobster Trap Removal Event
Saturday, May 21, 2022
8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Meeting Place: Goleta Beach Parking Lot (east end, near slough)