"Leaving the ocean as clean as we found it"

"Leaving the ocean as clean as we found it"
COOS BAY, ORE. - Leaving the ocean as clean as we found it. This is the new stance commercial crabbers and fishermen will take by participating in a "debris removal effort."

How it works is, the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission will pay commercial fishermen a "finders fee" for every derelict crab pot that's turned in.

"Our program is designed to get crabbers and other fishermen who encounter pots that are left out in the ocean to pick them up, pull them in, call us and they'll collect a finders fee," explains Nick Furman, Executive Director of the commission. "And so the whole idea is to provide some sort of incentive so that instead of just going by that pot and saying, 'hey that's not my pot, its not my problem,' that the industry will get engaged in being part of the solution."

Furman says each year 100,000 crab pots are put into the ocean, and in many cases, stay there until August, plenty of time for pots to stray and get carried away.

But fishermen have already made a huge difference in clearing out those stray pots along our coastline.

"So far fishermen have brought in 248 stray pots belonging to 95 different boats by 15 different fishermen up and down the coast so I would say, yeah, we've had a good start and we've spent about $10,500 doing it at this point," replies Furman.

He went onto say, he hopes this industry-led initiative will harbor lawmakers from creating legislation or regulations in favor of those stray pots.