Free biodegradable crab pot escape cords
The Washington State University Beach Watchers group will distribute biodegradable crab pot escape cords at Blaine Marina and Birch Bay State Park boat launches on Saturday, August 16.
The cords, sometimes called “rot cords” are made from biodegradable cotton material and allow crab to escape if the pot they are in becomes abandoned. Only about a third of all recreational crab pots are properly equipped with escape cord and many derelict pots are found to continue catching crab for months.
The Northwest Straits Commission found that abandoned crab pots are a problem as they can kill more than 70 crabs per year and that an estimated 372,000 crab die in lost pots each year in the Northwest Straits. As of June 2008, the agency has removed more than 1,500 pots.
Rot cords are also available by calling WSU’s Beach Watchers office at 676-6736, at sport fishing supply stores.
For more information about crab escape cords, visit The Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative’s website at www.escapecord.org.
To report lost or derelict fishing gear, call the Department of Fish and Wildlife hotline at 800/477-6224, or visit www.wdfw.wa.gov/fish/derelict/derelictgear.htm