MATES Students Clear Barnegat Bay of Abandoned Traps, Fishing Gear

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The first day of Fall provided a picture perfect back drop for Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, to join with Nina Anuario, President of the Ocean County Vocational Technical Board of Education, William Hoey, OCVTS Superintendent, and students from the OCVTS Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) lead by John Wnek, MATES supervisor as they demonstrated a program that removes old crab traps from the floor of Barnegat Bay. MATES in partnership with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey received funding from NOAA to recover and analyze abandoned fishing gear from the bay. Under the first two years of the program 1,274 abandoned traps were recovered in Barnegat Bay, from the Metedeconk River south of Little Egg Harbor, with over 90 percent of them being crab pots. As part of the demonstration, Spencer Hondros, owner of Spencer’s Marina, Waretown, was recognized by the Board of Freeholders for his ongoing commitment to the program allowing use of the marina as a base for assessment and disposal of the crab pots.

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