In Vancouver there are hundreds of illegal crab traps that have been found in areas like Kitsilano, on Jericho Beach, and around Vancouver.
One recent group that had been free diving in Vancouver spotted some illegal crab traps when they came across a mysterious line that was in the water.
They pulled and followed the line to see that it was a crab trap.
Traps that you do see in the area are usually identified with locator floats and identifiers of some sort, but these traps reportedly didn’t have that.
There are restrictions as to how many traps one person can have in B.C., along with other restrictions for trying to catch crabs in the area.
Several illegal traps around the Vancouver region have already been seized, at least 250 or more.
This is reportedly a growing problem around B.C. today where people launch illegal crab traps along the West Coast.
In Boundary Bay earlier this year there were hundreds of illegal crab traps spotted again and seized.
At least 337 illegal crab traps had been discovered in a multi-day operation that authorities had engaged in.
Aside from seizing crab traps they have also seized several vessels in the past as well when engaging in these operations.
Altogether over the years there are thousands of traps that have been found, each year they could easily come across hundreds of these traps.
Canada is one of the biggest seafood exporters in the world today, bringing a great deal of crabs, lobster, and other seafood items to countries worldwide.
Despite the many years they have been searching the waters nearby, finding and seizing crab traps, there continues to be even more to find.
They still don’t know the full extent of the problem and no one knows how many traps might be out there that they aren’t finding.
Ghost Fishing in B.C.
Those who own the illegal crab traps in Vancouver and around B.C. are believed to come and retrieve the traps at night to try and further avoid detection.
Technology has been helping them do the job, especially now that drones are becoming more commonplace and affordable. Drones can help them search the area and look for crap traps that shouldn’t be there.
The Canadian Coast Guard along with fishing officials in the province are the ones who work together to try and find these illegal crab traps.
Boundary Bay is one of the more popular regions that hundreds of traps have been found, along with other beaches and regions in the province.
These ghost crab traps as they have also been referred to are a danger, experts warn, because they could go on to kill fish and crabs for years if they aren’t removed.
With illegal crap traps in Vancouver there is concern for the local ecosystem as the traps could cause harm and marine pollution, killing a variety of species for long periods of time.
A number of traps have been abandoned around B.C. and authorities have seized and removed them over the years as they investigate this issue.
When those traps are found and then seized we also see that authorities release thousands of those crabs back into the water. They don’t end up making their way onto the black market.
Crab traps are supposedly to be clearly marked and the trap operations are expected to also follow other guidelines that help to ensure the safety of the captive crabs as well. For example, the traps are supposed to be secured with a rot cord that will decompose over time in the event that the trap is lost, so the crabs can escape.
If anyone has information about any suspicious activity related to this they are encouraged to report it by contacting Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 1-800-465-4336.