Monthly Archives: June 2011

Side Scanning the Harbor

Crab Traps are shown in the red boxed area of the screen

Crab Traps are shown in the red boxed area of the screen

Charlotte County Sea Grant Extension
This article appeared in the June 2011 edition of Water LIFE magazine

Every so often cool things just happen. While I was in Hawaii in March I met a professor (Kirk) from Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Kirk told me about work he was doing in Chesapeake Bay using side scan sonar to identify and remove blue crab traps from the water.

In Virginia, there has historically been both a trap fishery and a dredge fishery. The dredge fishery occurred during the winter months when blue crabs burrow in the mud. A few years ago the dredge fishery was closed. Because of the economic loss, Virginia applied for and received federal recovery funds to restore fisheries and habitats and also to enhance marine debris removal efforts. The marine debris project entailed the state of Virginia buying 70 side scan units and hiring 70 commercial fishermen (displaced by the dredge fishery closure) to be trained by VIMS researchers on the use of these units.

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