Commercial watermen pulled up more than 9,000 derelict so-called “ghost pots” from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries this winter, and scoured shallow waters in the second year of Virginia’s landmark Marine Debris Removal Program.
The program, funded by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and implemented by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, paid the watermen to use side-imaging sonar units to detect and retrieve abandoned crab pots and other marine debris that litter the water bottoms. This targeted retrieval method minimizes disturbance to the bottom.
66 watermen participants were paid $300 a day, and were compensated for their fuel costs. Many were equipped for the first time to search shallow waters, which proved to be a successful expansion of the program.
source: VMRC press release