Intermediate school kids aid effort to save bay’s terrapins
BERLIN–The sixth grade Dolphin team at Berlin Intermediate School held a penny race and raised $901.22 for Maryland Coastal Bays to save the terrapins, who are getting trapped in crab pots and drowning.
This has been an on-going problem in the brackish water bays and creeks of the Atlantic. Maryland Coastal Bays will use the money to purchase and install excluders for crab pots. With the excluders, terrapins will not be able to get into the pots.
Many think terrapins can hold their breath for a long time, but terrapins don’t have gills. They have a slower metabolism which allows them to take slower breaths, but they must come up every so often for air. When they get caught underwater, the terrapins lose oxygen and suffocate.
People do not intentionally try to capture terrapins, but unfortunately when crabbing with pots, terrapins pay the ultimate price with their lives. The bait that is used to catch crabs lures local terrapins into crab pots.
There are different types of crab pots, one of which is called a ghost pot. Ghost pots are crab pots that are not attached to a marker and do not get hauled in very often. These pots are where most terrapins are trapped.
A minimum of 14,000-15,000 terrapins die each year because of crab traps.
To help the terrapins, put turtle excluders on crab pots.