Northwest Straits Derelict Fishing Gear Program

Country United States
Started 2002

The Northwest Straits Foundation is a non-profit organization established to support the scientific, restoration, and education projects and programs of the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative. The Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the marine resources of the Northwest Straits by supporting research, monitoring, restoration, stewardship, conservation and education programs and projects both at the local and regional level. The Foundation seeks funding for projects and programs in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission, the seven County Marine Resources Committees, Tribes, federal/state/local agencies, universities, other non-profit organizations and businesses. The Northwest Straits Foundation was created in 2002 to augment the ability of the Northwest Straits Initiative to pursue funding for its programs and projects. The Foundation works closely with the Northwest Straits Commission and the Marine Resources Committees to set priorities and develop projects to achieve its marine conservation objectives. In 2002, the Washington state legislature passed SB 6313, establishing the Derelict Fishing gear removal program in Puget Sound. Since that time, the Initiative’s derelict gear program has become an internationally-recognized success story. A good deal of our success in removing derelict gear from Puget Sound is due to a careful, strategic approach to program development. To learn more about the background and components of the Derelict Fishing Gear Program, check the program sectionon the website. As of December 31, 2012 the Northwest Straits Initiative has removed 4,358 derelict fishing nets and 2,889 crab pots from Puget Sound, restoring 616 acres of critical marine habitat. Over 291,015 animals, representing more than 270 species, were found entangled in this gear. Species found include porpoise, sea lions, scoters, grebes, cormorants, canary rockfish, Chinook salmon, and Dungeness crab. To view of map of the locations where nets have been removed.