July 17, 2013: Black Laser Learning, Inc.® (BLL) the leader in sonar training today announced its participation in a NOAA-led derelict crab trap removal project critical to the livelihood of commercial crabbers and fishermen in the Mullica River–Great Bay Estuary (MRGB) in New Jersey. 

The MRGB, part of the NOAA Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR), is considered one of the most pristine estuaries on the east coast of North America. Commercial blue crab fishers in particular fish about 2460 traps every year throughout the river, tidal creeks and bay systems. But each year, a large proportion of gear is lost due to boating traffic, bottom currents and storms, non-standard fishing techniques and unfamiliarity with regulations by recreational fishers.

Researchers with the Marine Science & Environmental Field Station at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey have formed collaborative partnerships with the area commercial fishers and their investigative side scan sonar work has confirmed the removal of derelict crab traps is essential not only to the fishermen but to the fragile eco-system within.

Together with NOAA's JC NERR volunteers, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Stockton undergraduate Marine Science / Biology students – with contributions from Environmental Science graduate students – the project also aims to generate a "best practices” environment where crabbers continue the restoration effort while providing examples for “grassroots” efforts in neighboring systems.

Black Laser Learning, Inc.® has been supporting the Stockton effort with Humminbird sonar training and optimization of the Humminbird system for detection of crab traps in shallow water. Now BLL will develop a free training video for fishermen called Ghost Crab Pot Retrieval in Shallow Bays, which will provide the basic methodology, image interpretation and methods of trap recovery using the Humminbird sonar system.

“As a long-time advocate of marine science and education, it is my pleasure to provide assistance for such a worthwhile project,” says Vince Capone, owner of Black Laser Learning, Inc.® “Our training video will make the job of finding ghost traps easy and efficient so fishermen can begin to work more productively while they help keep the ocean environment safe for all those who work and live in this area.” 

About Black Laser Learning: Black Laser Learning, Inc.® is a marine technology training company specializing in distilling complex technological subject matter into easy-to-understand training segments presented live, by DVD or computer-based interactive training formats. Our clients include the U.S. Navy and Marine Law Enforcement organizations.