WHAT IS THE GHOST TRAP RODEO?
The Ghost Trap Rodeo Tournament Event Series is just like your favorite inshore fishing tournaments, only instead of reds and trout, we're weighing in abandoned crab traps and other marine debris - for thousands in prizes!
2023 Tourney dates: May 6, 2023 at Briland, Bahamas • June 10, 2023 at Cedar Key • July 15, 2023 at Tampa Bay •July 16, 2023 at Biscayne Bay • July 23-25, 2023 at Key West (Captains Invitational) • Nov. 11, 2023 at Briland, Bahamas
This angler-led restoration project, designed by Ocean Aid 360 and Coastal Conservation Association, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), is built on the belief that shallow water anglers – tailing redfish stalkers, mullet net assassins, beachfront pass crab casters, and mangrove snook pluggers – know their local waters as well or better than anyone. The Ghost Trap Rodeo is an opportunity show what you know, to find and remove derelict crab traps, which catch and kill unchecked, and other forms of marine debris that negatively impact our fishery. This tournament is a great opportunity to connect with fellow watermen and waterwomen, while improving marine habitat, and to compete for fishing and boating prizes donated by well-known sponsors.
The Ghost Trap Rodeo promotes community awareness of marine debris challenges facing Florida's inshore fishery, mobilizing thousands of recreational and commercial angler volunteers for the detection and retrieval of ghost traps, abandoned fishing gear, and other types of man-made solid waste. Contestants provide a species bycatch inventory and approximate location of debris hotspots.
The Ghost Trap Rodeo project is resourced by contributions from local residents, business owners, foundations, and government agencies, who together, share the commitment to our watershed. These resources afforded to OA360 are third party audited and afford essential volunteer supplies, printed materials, bycatch data collection kits; volunteer refreshments, prizes, staff hours, and debris disposal. So far since October 2019, the GTR has removed 275,000 lbs of marine debris - a truly meaningful step toward improved aquatic habitat - and 40% of this debris was recycled.
I thank you for reading up on The Ghost Trap Rodeo event series, and we sure hope you’ll participate. Considering the threats to our coastal areas, it’s clear our fisheries need us more than ever. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Ocean Aid 360 team with questions or ideas related to the Ghost Trap Rodeo event series.
Capt. Neill Holland; Pres., Ocean Aid 360
Salt Creek Marine District; St. Pete, FL 33705 CaptNeill@OceanAid360.org; Telephone: 727-200-7781
Ocean Aid 360, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) IRS tax-exempt nonprofit organized to design, manage, and implement research-based environmental and ecological interventions, through public and private partnerships, to improve and secure the health of vulnerable marine, coastal, wetland, and inland waterway habitats toward their renewed and/or continued ability to support future generations of healthy flora and fauna, as well as marine-dependent communities.