The Lobster Trap Recovery and Assessment Partnership (L-TRAP) is celebrating the removal of 1,178 abandoned lobster traps from Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound that were lost over decades of fishing.
The L-TRAP project is a collaborative conservation effort between The Maritime Aquarium, Save the Sound, Project Oceanology, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Remote Ecologist and local fishers to improve the ecosystem. So far, the partners have completed 57 of 95 federally funded trips to do this work.
Traps that are left to sit at the bottom of the Sound continue to attract lobsters, crabs, and fish. These creatures either die from being unable to escape or attract other larger predators, which leads to further declines in populations. The traps can also disrupt bottom habitats, especially during storm events; interfere with navigation and the work of remaining members of the fishery; and leach potentially harmful chemicals into the water as plastic coating on the gear breaks down.