WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced the awarding of $226,299 in federal funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support Stockton University’s efforts to break the cycle of lost and abandoned crab traps in New Jersey coastal bays. The funding will also go towards recruiting the next generation of fisherman to participate in this program, learn about fishing gear loss prevention, and incorporate best practices into their fishing behavior.

"The fishing industry is a crucial part of New Jersey's economy and we must ensure that our fishermen have the best available resources,” said Sen. Menendez. “I’m proud of Stockton University for taking the initiative to protect our marine ecosystems, invest in our coastal economy, and give our fishermen the tools they need to succeed.”

“Ensuring New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry continues to thrive depends on innovative research and educational programs like those established by Stockton University,” said Sen. Booker. “This federal investment will help reduce the potentially adverse economic and environmental impacts of abandoned fishing gear, protect our sensitive marine ecosystems, and strengthen New Jersey’s coastal economy.”

Since Stockton University scientists first made efforts to stop crab trap loss, commercial industry partners have experienced economic benefits and the model has been duplicated in other areas of New Jersey and Delaware.