WHAT IS THE GHOST TRAP RODEO?
The Ghost Trap Rodeo 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 $25,000 in prizes!
Tournament dates are: Jan. 9, 2021 at Apalachicola • July 17, 2021 at Saint Pete • Jul. 24, 2021 at Homosassa • Jan. 22, 2022 at Jacksonville • Mar. 21, 2022 at Tampa • Aug. 13, 2022 at Cocoa Beach
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 quality fishing and boating prizes donated by well-known sponsors.
The Ghost Trap Rodeo will promote community awareness of marine debris challenges facing Florida's inshore fishery, mobilizing hundreds 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 will provide a species bycatch inventory and approximate location for unfishable traps collected.
The Ghost Trap Rodeo project is resourced between January 2021 and October 2022 with a federal grant and matching contributions from local business owners who share the commitment to our watershed. These resources are third party audited and bound by federal contract to afford the needed volunteer supplies, printed info materials, bycatch data collection kits; volunteer refreshments, prizes, staff hours, and debris disposal. By the end of the project, the GTR will collect 30,000 lbs. of marine debris - an important step toward improved habitat - and 50% of the hauled debris will be recycled.
I thank you for reading up on The Ghost Trap Rodeo event series, and we sure hope you’ll participate. After this past year along the Florida coastlines, it’s clear our fisheries need us more than ever. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Ocean Aid 360 project team with any questions or ideas related to the Ghost Trap Rodeo event series 2021-2022.
Capt. Neill Holland; President, Ocean Aid 360, Inc.
125 18th Avenue South; 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.