NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) – During the month of January, the North Carolina Coastal Federation takes advantage of the “no potting closure” a time where crab harvesting isn’t allowed to remove crab pots and fishing gear that is polluting waterways.

24 crews have been working on this project from the Northeastern coast all the way down to the Emerald Isle bridge.

One Fisherman, Keith Bruno from Oriental, has assisted the Coastal Federation on this project for years. He says that with pollution in the water it’s hard for fish populations to maintain their viability and keep his business afloat.

A group like the Coastal Federation, who doesn’t want to exclude commercial fishermen from the water altogether they want to include us and as a group effort, maintain not only my way of life but water quality for generations to come,” said Bruno.

Since the project began, the crews have removed around 800 pots thus far.