Tag Archives: Testing Ropeless Gear

Maine: Next Generation Of Lobstermen Brace For Unprecedented Change

On a boat near Kennebunkport in late July, lobsterman Chris Welch demonstrated new ropeless gear made by a Massachusetts company. It costs about $4,000 per trap, several times more than a traditional lobster trap, which is usually $80-180. “So far it is retrievable,” Welch says. “But the challenge of the Maine fishery is there’s 5,000 lobstermen and we all fish amongst each other and attempt not to fish on top of each other. With these units unless you’re staring at your electronics all day or your iPad, there’s no way of knowing where the next guy is.”  The 33-year-old is against going ropeless and thinks the gear is a long way from being practical or affordable for most lobstermen. “I foresee it becoming a big boat fishery,” >click to read<  10:55

California crab fishermen are testing “ropeless” gear

This is not a new concept. It is currently being tested by snow crab fishermen in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, whose MSC certification—one of the seafood industry’s most important sustainability certifications—was suspended in 2017 for entangling imperiled North Atlantic right whales. In fact, California’s court settlement incentivizes the use of ropeless gear by allowing Dungeness crab fishermen to fish in areas otherwise closed to fishing as of 2021, explains Kristen Monsell, a senior CBD attorney. (there’s a lot to unpack, as damn near all the lobstermen in NE, and Eastern Canada, are generally opposed. Will the CBD settlement affect your fisheries?) >click to read< 13:29

To Save the Whales, Crab Fishers Are Testing Ropeless Gear

Commercial crab fisher Dick Ogg, of Bodega Bay, California, knows his industry and its several hundred fishers must adapt. “We have to change. This is all about protecting our environment, the creatures that live in it, and our industry,” Ogg says. Last year, Ogg voluntarily tested two prototypes that deploy crab pots without leaving ropes in the water. One, made by Desert Star Systems, is designed so a fisher can send an acoustic signal that triggers the pot to open a mesh bag, releasing a buoy and coiled rope that float to the surface. In his test, the retrieval gear never appeared and Ogg lost his pot. >click to read<08:34