ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland watermen are scouring the Chesapeake Bay in search of ghost pots.

Ghost pots are crab traps that have been lost by watermen and continue to trap and kill crabs and fish. State officials say more than 4,000 pieces of crabbing gear have been pulled from the bay since last week when the program began.

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This is the third year for the ghost pot program that is part of a federal grant that followed a disaster declaration for the bay’s blue crab fishery. The grant provides aid for watermen who are hired to remove lost traps. The grant also helps ensure the sustainability of the crab population.

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About 700 watermen are working at 14 sites across the bay. The program continues through mid-April.

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