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Old 16-05-2019, 13:09   #16
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

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No, the West Coast Dungeness crab fishery is not really similar to the blue crab fishery. The boats are larger and must be capable of working in the Pacific Ocean in the middle of winter which is the height of the fishery. The traps are larger and the profits can be respectable in a good year. In deeper water, the fishery already uses pots strung along a single line with lighted buoys at each end as in the King crab fishery. In shallower waters, each commercial pot is buoyed with an unlighted float. In those areas the buoy fields are a menace to recreational and other commercial vessels. An alternate technology which eliminated the individual buoys and lines would be greatly welcomed by the rest of us.
Well guess it's obvious that I'm an east coast boater with no clue about west coast crabs. My sole venture onto the waters on your side was a ride across SF Bay in a Boston Whaler 35 years ago.

Clearly east coast crabbing is quite different. Pretty much all shallow water along the coast, bays and tidal rivers. Boats tend to be max 35-45' range, many smaller. Buoys from crab pots are a real problem in channels and parts of the ICW but far smaller than the ones I see the King Crab guys throwing on TV. Still have a line strong enough to break a prop shaft.

Far worse are lobster traps in the NE. I have seen places along the Maine coast carpeted so thickly with buoys that it would be almost impossible to thread through them in a sailboat, literally 20-30' apart at most.
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Old 16-05-2019, 18:49   #17
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

These sonar release systems have been around for decades and often used by survey companies to protect marker buoys from theft or damage during the interval between location and requirement.

The problem of ghost buoy lines might be better solved by mandating the use of slowly biodegrading, non floating line with a time sensitive, water dissolving link at the upper end under the buoy. Link dissolves, line drops to bottom, line biodegrades.
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Old 17-05-2019, 16:11   #18
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

How absurd! Just keep a lookout, and give the floats a wide berth. It's worked for 70 years. Hello!
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Old 17-05-2019, 16:45   #19
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

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How absurd! Just keep a lookout, and give the floats a wide berth. It's worked for 70 years. Hello!
Actually so not absurd. Sorry to say, but it seems you are missing the primary issue and purpose of such novel technology enhancement. It is the animals of the sea that are the major concern as to entanglements in trap lines, i.e., whales, turtles, seals, manatees, dolphins, porpoises, rays, sharks, etc.. Marine animals can't be taught / told to KEEP WATCH! Yet, they are the exactly the ones that suffer injuries or are killed by such entanglements.

Boats and ship entanglements are of comparatively minor concern, typically involving just an inconvenience, but sometimes damaging propulsion or steering, and / or causing damage or loss of the crab trap(s).

And as to the recommended solution of navigators to keep watch so as to avoid such entanglement, yes that can work effectively during the day in clear conditions but at night or in poor visibility conditions unlit floats and lines can only be spotted once you are on them and often only noticed after you have become entangled on to one or more of them. It does require proper diligence to keep watch for small retrieval line buoys, much more diligence then keeping watch for sightings of other boats or ships.

Entanglements [or animals and boats] have occurred for as long as the traps have been set but there are many more entanglements occurring because there are many more whales and lined trap lines to come into hazards.

There being very good reasoning why the dungeness crab season was closed fully three months earlier this year along California's coastline south of Sonoma, except for those trappers that utilize the lineless trap technologies. I suspect that being able to continue harvesting fresh dungeness crabs for three more months beyond the customary end of the buoyed line crab trap season will provides for considerable economic incentives to acquire and become an early adopter of the lineless crab trap systems. There being a lot of premium-added value revenue in delivering crabs to market for three additional months when other traditional buoyed traps are banned.

Mankind should strive to be good stewards of the sea and all its incredible life forms.
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Old 17-05-2019, 20:32   #20
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

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How absurd! Just keep a lookout, and give the floats a wide berth. It's worked for 70 years. Hello!
Have you found that it works well for you in 20 foot visibility fog or at night in a rainstorm off of Willapa Bay? I personally find that it can be quite a challenge when you get in a big field of pots with limited visibility. As I said before, it is why most of us have line cutters on our prop shafts. And no, unfortunately, whales do not carry a line cutter.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28   #21
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

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How absurd! Just keep a lookout, and give the floats a wide berth. It's worked for 70 years. Hello!
I guess it never rains or gets dark where you are...... Nothing like wrapping a crab pot around your prop in a squall or at dusk!
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