GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) — Researchers are trying to figure out how to reduce the number abandoned crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay. The so-called “ghost pots” kill blue crabs as well as fish and birds and turtles.

The Daily Press reported Monday that researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point are surveying watermen for ideas for solutions.

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Researchers estimate that about 145,000 derelict pots haunt the Chesapeake Bay. They believe the ghost pots trap more than six million blue crabs each year and kill half of them. Their carcasses then attract other creatures that also get trapped.

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A program to retrieve ghost pots was successful a few years ago. VIMS scientists paid local watermen through a federal grant to remove derelict fishing gear from the Chesapeake Bay.

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