Beneath the glittering surface of Biscayne Bay, a menace lurks, wiping out fragile seagrass habitat, catching and killing as brutally, efficiently and indiscriminately as any monster from the deep: ghost traps.

What goes inside the abandoned or lost traps stays inside — crabs left to cannibalize each other, baby lobster and fish too disoriented to escape. Heavy-grade plastic crab traps can even outlive their owners.

“Just because someone’s not actually fishing a trap, it doesn’t mean the trap isn’t fishing,” said John Ricisak, a Miami-Dade County environmental resources project supervisor who heads county removal efforts.

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