24-2-CWS | January 11, 2024
BILOXI, Miss. – Working cooperatively with commercial and recreational crab fishermen to remove derelict crab traps from state waters, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) will conduct a crab trap closure for all crab traps in Mississippi territorial waters within one half (1/2) mile of the mainland shoreline from the Alabama/Mississippi border to the Mississippi/Louisiana border from 6 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, until 6 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. See attached maps of closure area.
The schedule for the removal of crab traps is as follows:
- Feb. 15 – 21 – All commercial and recreational crab fishermen must use this time to remove their own traps from closure areas and crabs may be retained during this period. As a reminder, it is illegal to remove traps licensed to another person outside of the approved trap removal dates. This will be strictly enforced.
- Feb. 22 – 24 – All traps remaining in the closure area will be considered derelict and will be removed and recycled. Volunteers may remove remaining traps from state waters within one half (1/2) mile of the mainland shoreline during these dates. Derelict traps may be dropped off at MDMR designated sites for recycling from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Point Park in Pascagoula, Ocean Springs Harbor and Pleasure Street Boat Launch in Bay St. Louis.
- Feb. 25 – Beginning at 6 a.m., all active traps may be returned to the Mississippi territorial waters closure area and crab fishing may resume.
The Mississippi Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program has removed and recycled over 22,400 traps since its inception in 1999. Volunteers interested in participating in this year’s program can contact the MDMR Shrimp and Crab Bureau at (228) 374-5000 for more information.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.