Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are surveying area waterman about abandoned crab pots and their impact on bay life.
So-called “ghost pots” in the Chesapeake Bay are reported to impact and even kill fish, birds and turtles. The Institute says the latest estimates are that nearly 150,000 pots are abandoned in the Bay, trapping over 6 million blue crabs each year, and killing half of them.
The deceased crabs’ carcasses can then attract other fish life, causing them to get trapped as well. Previously, Maryland officials launched a program to retrieve abandoned pots, providing watermen who did so federal grant money.