Another Illegal Gill Net
Some two weeks ago, a member of the Coastal Conservation Association fishing off of Bloody Point snagged his line on what appeared to be an illegal gill net. When weather permitted (Sept. 20), Maryland Department of Natural Resources dispatched the 80-foot-long icebreaker and buoy-tender A.V. Sandusky to hoist the net’s bulk. About a half mile of the deadly monofilament net — studded with the remains of horseshoe crabs, blue crabs and rotting fish — was removed from Bay waters.
It’s a mystery how long the net had been in place capturing and killing marine creatures. But the submerged net recalls the winter of 2011, when miles of illegal commercial nets containing more than 26,000 pounds of dead striped bass were discovered in the same general area. Like those, this latest find consumed many hours of DNR effort and expense, all funded by us Maryland taxpayers.
Another mystery: who set the net?
The 2012 commercial gill net season is scheduled to begin in December.