Phones help crabbers retrieve gear before it kills whales - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Phones help crabbers retrieve gear before it kills whales

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By ELLEN KNICKMEYER
Associated Press

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) - California's Dungeness crab season has ended but the fishermen who go after Dungeness are back at sea.

Commercial fishermen at Half Moon Bay and five other California ports this year are using cellphone GPS to help recover abandoned crabbing gear that can snare and kill whales.

U.S. fisheries officials say the number of whales entangled in fishing gear hit a record on the East Coast last year, and tied the record on the West Coast.

The new effort at California ports pays commercial fishermen to retrieve lost and abandoned crab pots.

At Half-Moon Bay, the effort has recovered 450 pots so far this year. Port officials are returning the pots to their original owners, for a small fee that's meant to make the ocean clean-up self-sustaining.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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