Perfect in a boil or softshell in a po-boy, it's no wonder blue crab is a mainstay of the Louisiana diet. Lucky for us, Louisiana is rich with ideal habitat for these crabs, a fact that makes our state the number one supplier of blue crab in the country.
The blue crab industry is important for southeast Louisiana, but we know that the trade's primary tool, a rectangular wire trap, can harm the surrounding habitat if it becomes lost or abandoned.
Many traps are lost due to storms or damage. Forgotten in lakes and canals, they can become a threat to boat navigation and harm wildlife. Birds, otters, and turtles have all been found ensnared in abandoned crab traps. This year, we found as many as 16 diamondback terrapin turtles in a single lost trap.
The industry is also harmed by this debris. When a crabber loses a trap they create an invisible form of competition. Once abandoned, traps continue to catch blue crab, keeping them out of the annual harvest and off our plates.
For the past three years, we've been working to reduce the harmful impact this debris has on our bayous, lakes, and canals. This year alone we prevented 83,979 blue crabs from being killed in this wasteful way by removing over 3,000 abandoned traps from our basin's waterways.
Sponsor the cleanup. Keep blue crab on your plate.