Lost Fishing Gear
Derelict fishing gear, such as lost fishing nets and crab pots, can continue to trap and kill fish, crab, and other animals as long as they persist in the marine environment. This “ghost-fishing” effect is detrimental to the marine species and to the fisheries associated with them. Not only does “ghost- fishing” have impacts by directly killing subsistence fisheries; they make other fisheries problematic for the area. The DIA has been conducting marine debris cleanups to remove derelict fishing gear within our Traditional Territory. The DIA has completed a marine debris cleanup in the Gastineau Channel removing approximately 35 derelict crab pots from the environment and saving several crab and marine life from the trapped crab pots. The DIA will continue to conduct marine debris cleanups to remove nets and crab pots from the marine environment by means of grappling via a boat-based operation.
In addition to clean-up of derelict fishing gear, marine debris in general is an issue for the Tribe. This garbage and the potential for associated contamination in the marine environment may have impacts on subsistence resources.