Skip to main content

Fishing net removed ahead of sea-turtle release off Maryland coast

A 1,500-pound mass of tangled, derelict fishing net that looked “like it was breathing” slowly comes aboard a TowBoatUS boat in Ocean City, Md., a day before 12 rehabilitated sea turtles were released nearby.

A 1,500-pound mass of tangled, derelict fishing net that looked “like it was breathing” slowly comes aboard a TowBoatUS boat in Ocean City, Md., a day before 12 rehabilitated sea turtles were released nearby.

A project led by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water removed a large commercial fishing net entangled on an artificial reef in Ocean City, Md., in June.

Nearby just one day later — and by complete coincidence — biologists from the National Aquarium Animal Rescue team released 12 rehabilitated sea turtles to the wild.

Three miles of open water was all that separated the two efforts to protect and nurture marine life on the Atlantic Coast.

Tasked for the Ocean City net removal project was Capt. Rob Coperhaver of TowBoatUS Ocean City. By day, Coperhaver provides on-water towing services to recreational boaters, but on this early Wednesday morning his crew hunted down the wayward net.

Marine debris such as nets, fishing line and derelict crab pots can snare and kill marine life long after they are lost or abandoned at sea. Although the net was scheduled to be removed the following week, the sea conditions were too good to pass up.

“We quickly located it, fully suspended in the water column,” said dive-team lead TowBoatUS Capt. Rick Younger in a statement. “It appeared to be almost alive, like it was breathing, opening and closing with each movement of the ocean swell.”

The team dove on the wreck, identified lift points and carefully brought the estimated 1,500 pounds of tangled net aboard for disposal. Funds for the project came from a $51,000 grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program for the removal of large debris. TowBoatUS Ocean City and local monitoring agencies contributed matching funds through in-kind services.

Since 2006 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has supported more than 100 marine debris-removal projects across the country, eliminating more than 5,500 metric tons of debris.

The timing for the project could not have been better. Just one day later the turtles were released a short distance away.

“At least we know this is one net that won’t harm any more marine life,” Younger said.

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .