The Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) will again work with other organizations, agencies and local lobstermen to remove derelict, lost or abandoned fishing gear from the Outer Cape seabed. Last year, CCS was instrumental in removing 12 tons of gear from the ocean floor off Provincetown for a six-day period, according to a CCS release.
This year, the retrieval will be done during the first half of March during the Outer Cape Trap Haul-Out Period. CCS will work with four Provincetown boats, Miss Lilly, Little Sammy III, All In and Morgan Gayle. According to CCS, the owners of the four vessels will donate their platforms, equipment, time and labor and will receive a fuel stipend in return.
Weather-permitting, the teams will haul-out the "ghost gear" using side-scan sonar along Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet.
The ghost gear will be brought to MacMillan Wharf will it will be sorted. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will assist in identifying the owners of good gear and according to CCS, non-fishable gear will be either recycled as scrap metal or sent to a waste-to-energy facility.
The work will be done during the Outer Cape Trap Haul-Out to avoid working fishing gear.
Provincetown fisherman have contributed 30 tons of gear to Fishing for Energy, a nationwide project supported by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Covanta Energy Corporation, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. and NOAA.