Derelict Gear




Every year, we pull thousands of pieces of decaying fishing material from Puget Sound. Abandoned gear, like crab pots and non-degradable nets, can sit on the ocean floor for decades—trapping and killing hundreds of thousands of marine animals, like seals, porpoises, salmon, and crabs. At Point Roberts, alone, abandoned nets were destroying $437,000 worth of crab every season.

Fortunately, since 2002, we’ve been able to remove more than 5,800 derelict fishing nets from Puget Sound—restoring more than 870 acres of precious marine habitat. Removal of these nets also saves over 400 marine mammals, birds, and fish daily.

We’re Counting on Your Involvement

None of this would be possible without the help and cooperation of local fisherman who report lost or abandoned gear.

Report Lost Gear

*Very useful information in verifying location and other information pertaining to the reported derelict gear. There are no penalties associated with reporting lost fishing gear.

**Commercial fishermen: Report loss of net gear within 24 hours of the loss using this form or by calling the WDFW hotline at 855-542-3935. All fields on this form are required except email. Report the time you lost your gear in the ‘comments and description’ field.

Please be aware that removal operations are currently underway through the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative in all of Puget Sound. We are removing nets only and cannot guarantee immediate removal unless a net is causing a danger to navigation or to human safety. Location data will be kept on crab pots for future reference but we are currently not funded to remove crab pots.

To report by telephone call 360-733-1725.


Northwest Straits Foundation
1155 N State St Ste 400
Bellingham WA 98225
(360) 733-1725