Derelict Lobster Pot Removal Intern

Position Title: Derelict Lobster Pot Removal Intern

Number of positions: 3

Location: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County

423 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead, NY 11901

Position Summary: Since 2010, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Marine Program has conducted several research projects to remove derelict/abandoned lobster traps in the Long Island Sound (LIS) at the ports of Mattituck, Mount Sinai and Northport. The successes of the projects were manifested with the cooperation of the lobster industry through the completion of surveys, planning sessions of operation field plans, and executing the fieldwork. These programs proved that a substantial quantity of derelict lobster traps have accumulated in the LIS and need to be removed. While these traps not only contribute to the ongoing problems associated with marine debris, a significant number of them are still catching lobsters and are thus adding to the “fishing effort” for lobsters in LIS. CCE data shows that 20% of the derelict lobster traps recovered had one or more lobsters in them and of this 20%, 4% of the lobsters were dead. This is known as “ghost fishing”. To date, a total of 16,610 derelict lobster traps have been recovered from the New York waters of the LIS. This is equivalent to an estimated total weight of 830,500 pounds. The intern will be assisting fisheries specialists and fisheries technicians on derelict lobster pot retrieval trips aboard fishing vessels. Assistance will include loading and unloading of scientific equipment aboard the vessel, data recording, and loading and unloading of retrieved lobster fishing gear.

The position will be based out of Riverhead, NY, but require being aboard fishing vessels at sea, in the Long Island Sound. The work will be outdoors during the day in potentially adverse weather conditions. Typical day will 10-12 hours total, including approximately 8 hours at sea. This opportunity will be approximately 0-20 hours per week and will be offered from December 2018 through July 2019; occasional weekends and orientation will be required. A reliable source of transportation is necessary. This is a non-paid internship.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Follow protocols to ensure accurate and reliable data records.
  • Work as a team member with existing Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) staff including Marine Program managers, specialists, educators and technicians.


  • Ability to handle multiple tasks while maintaining a positive and professional attitude.
  • Ability to have a flexible schedule based on demands of program and needs of staff.
  • Ability to volunteer outdoors and perform physical tasks as needed.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds unassisted and willingness to work in adverse weather conditions onboard commercial fishing vessels.

Please send resume and cover letter to Scott Curatolo-Wagemann 631-727-7850 ext. 237 by Friday, December 7, 2018

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact us if you have any special needs. Cornell Cooperative Extension is funded in part by Suffolk County through the office of the County Executive and the County Legislature.

Last updated November 16, 2018