How to Exorcise the Ghosts of Crab Traps Past

Low cost sonar helps teams of crabbers in the Great Bay Estuary locate abandoned traps, which they use hook lines to remove to protect wildlife and damage to fishing boats. Funded by three grants, teams have retrieved around 2,200 traps and crabbers are compensated for their efforts. The initiative is modeled after one in the Chesapeake Bay, where 34,408 ghost pots were removed over six years. Similar efforts have been implemented around the world, including the Ghost Trap Rodeo in Tampa Bay, which is styled like a fishing tournament but competitors collect abandoned traps instead of catching fish.

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