GLOUCESTER POINT (AP) -- More than 10,000 crab traps were plucked from Virginia waters over the winter under a program to remove abandoned pots from the Chesapeake Bay.

The so-called 'ghost pots' were removed by watermen who were paid $300 a day plus fuel expenses.

The numbers released Friday reflect an effort that began in December, after most blue crabs dig into the bay for their winter hibernation. Since the program's inception three years ago, more than 28,000 pots have been removed from the water.

The wire mesh traps are called ghost pots because they continue to trap crabs and marine life after they are errantly cut from a waterman's buoy.

The traps picked up through mid-March captured more than 11,000 animals, including thousands of crabs.

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