Stillaguamish Tribe studies crab deaths from lost pots

The (Everett) Herald reports on a Stillaguamish project looking at the effects of abandoned crab pots on the crab resource:

Last month, tribal crews dropped 12 crabbing pots into the port — six pots at 30 feet and six pots at 60 feet.

“We’re deploying pots as if they were abandoned,” (tribal biologist Jen) Sevigny said.

Every week for the next year, divers will check the pots to determine how quickly crabs are caught. After a year, the tribe will have a good idea of how many crabs are caught in abandoned pots, how long they survive before dying, and how long abandoned pots continue to attract fresh catches. The data will be turned over to the University of Washington, which will create an economic model and determine the value of the loss to the crabbing industry.