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The Need For BRDs (Bycatch Reduction Devices). Project Terrapin Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) 195 Cedar Bridge Road, Manahawkin New Jersey 08050. Social Problem. Species dying worldwide from human industrialization Many varieties of human destruction

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The Need For BRDs (Bycatch Reduction Devices)

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the need for brds bycatch reduction devices

The Need For BRDs(Bycatch Reduction Devices)

Project Terrapin

Marine Academy of Technology and

Environmental Science (MATES)

195 Cedar Bridge Road, Manahawkin New Jersey 08050

social problem
Social Problem
  • Species dying worldwide from

human industrialization

  • Many varieties of human


  • Bycatch
crab pot design and issue
Crab Pot Design and Issue
  • Bendable openings
  • Species cannot escape
  • Drowning
  • Law: 72 hours

Diagram of a basic crab pot

derelict ghost crab pots
Derelict “Ghost” Crab Pots

Abandoned “Ghost Pots” that could contain drowned terrapins and other non-targeted species.

“Ghost Crab Pot” found with 94 dead terrapins in Georgia

why new jersey
Why New Jersey
  • Densest populated state
  • Commercial & recreational crabbing
    • Barnegat Bay Estuary
    • Delaware Bay Estuary
    • New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary
  • Billion dollars
    • Tourism
    • Fishing
    • Crabbing
why this species
Why This Species?
  • Bio-indicators
  • Proliferation of species
  • Species of concern
  • Late maturity

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin )

other bycatch
Other Bycatch
  • Summer and winter flounder
  • Pufferfish
  • “...approximately 250,000 derelict “ghost” traps are added to the Gulf of Mexico each year”("National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration")

Spider crabs


brd bycatch reduction device
BRD: Bycatch Reduction Device
  • Prevent larger

species from

entering crab pots

  • Easy to install
  • Cost-effective
  • Can be made to fit any size

A BRD attached to acommercial-style crab pot

impact of brds
Impact of BRDs

Lower bycatch mortality

Mandatory in Maryland on all crab pots

Scientifically proven to not decrease crab capture rates

how to use a brd
How to Use a BRD
  • Put the BRD over the opening of the crab pot
  • Fasten with wire ties
  • Ready to use!
  • Reduce the number of species killed from human development

Female diamondback terrapin drowned in a crab pot without BRDs in Ocean County, NJ

brd initiative local support
BRD Initiative & Local Support
  • Founded: November 2009
  • Newspaper articles: The Sandpaper, Asbury Park Press
  • Signatures: 5,000+
  • Facebook Cause “Saving the Diamondback Terrapin” members: 500+
public opinion
Public Opinion
  • Letters of support
    • From local communities
  • Local Stores
    • L & H Woods and Water
    • Lacey Marine
  • Local schools
    • Project Terrapin Calendar Contest
      • Brought awareness of the use of BRDs to children and adults
    • Afterschool Outreach
  • Local Presentations
    • LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences, LBI Rotary, Tuckerton Seaport, NJ Endangered & Non-game Species Council, Boy Scout Troops, Fish Hawks
statistics on crab catch
Statistics on Crab Catch
  • “Contrary to the substantial effect on terrapins, BRDs had little to no effect on crab catch” (Rook et al. 2010)
  • Animals are drowning
  • BRDs can save lives
  • Maryland has already passed a law
  • Cost-effective
  • Bycatch Reduction Device Team Website:
  • Saving the Diamondback Terrapin Cause:
  • Project Terrapin Website:
  • Dr. John Wnek
    • E-mail:
  • Anthony Bucci III
    • E-mail:
how to help
How to Help

1. Promote the use of BRDs!

  • The more everyone knows, the more you can help.

2. Use a BRD!

  • If you have a crab pot…use a BRD!

3. Let’s not repeat the same mistake that others have. Take a stand to protect our local species and preserve our ecosystems!

  • (2005). The Barnegat Bay Beat, 4(2), Retrieved from
  • Blanvillain, G, Schwenter, J, Day, R, Christopher, S, Roumillat, W, & Owens, D. (2005). Using diamondback terrapins, malaclemys terrapin, as sentinel species for monitoring mercury pollution in estuarine systems. Allen Press, Retrieved from
  • Butler, J, & Heinrich, G. (2005). Noaa project final report. Retrieved from
  • Diamondback Terrapin Working Group. (2004). Retrieved from
  • Chesapeake bay glossary. (2009, February 17). Retrieved from
  • Fisheries technical report. (2009, December 09).
  • Alaska Sea Grant. (2009, February February). Ghost pots: arctic science journeys radio. Retrieved from stpots.html
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (n.d.). Gulf of mexico derelict crab trap problem. Retrieved from
  • Hart, M, Kristen, C, McIvor, Carole, King, Tim, & Crowder, Larry. Integrating ecology and genetics to define population extent for a continuously-distributed species, diamondback terrapins (malaclemys terrapin). (2007). Retrieved from
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Keep Terrapins and other air-breathing animals out of your crab pots. Retrieved from
  • NOAA. (2009, February 17). Marine debris program - projects. Retrieved from .html
  • McFaden, F. (2008, May 8). New recreational crab pot requirements. Retrieved from
  • More Crab pots for bay ok'd, but agency closing loopholes. (n.d.). The Virginian Pilot, Retrieved from 68469554.html
  • Ccrbot. [Web]. Retrieved from rgy/graphics/Bimages/ccrbpot.jpg
  • Kaprolis, K. (n.d.). Lost crab pots still catching crabs. Retrieved from
  • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved from
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Noaa news online (story 2693). Retrieved from 93.htm
  • Terrapin Conservation at the Wetlands Institute. Retrieved from
  • Roosenburg, W, & Green, J. Impact of bycatch reduction devices on diamondback terrapins and blue crab capture in crab pots. (2000). Ecological Applications, 10(3), 882-89.
  • Roosenburg, W , Cresko, W, Modesitte, M, & Robbins, M. Diamondback terrapin (malaclemys terrapin) mortality in crab pots. (1997). Conservation Biology, 11(5), 1166-72.
  • Salty Dog Tackle. (2006, June 03). Salty dog tackle-saltwater fishing tackle forum. Retrieved from
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife. State-wide crab trap removal program. Retrieved from 20Crab%20Trap%20Removal%20Program.htm
  • Roosenburg, W. The Impact of crab pot fisheries on terrapin (malaclemys terrapin) populations: where are we and where do we need to go?. Conservation and Ecology of Turtles of the Mid-Atlantic Region, 23-30.
thank you for your time and we hope that you can help us change the world one terrapin at a time
Thank you for your time and we hope that you can help us change the world one terrapin at a time