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Old 16-05-2019, 08:15   #1
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A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

FYI.

https://gcaptain.com/the-end-of-crab...eid=5626ef2c30

Reference link to an article and video regarding a new crab trap buoy and retrieval line system for installation and retrofit of crab traps that keeps the buoy deployed at the trap on the bottom of the sea until the crab boat arrives to retrieve the traps and the boats sends a command signal with a proprietary code to the release mechanism to allow a buoy to float a retrieval line to the surface to allow the boat crew to retrieve the trap from the bottom.

The video discusses the technology and the importance of such system as to allowing for crab traps to be deployed in areas where whales have been sighted, as otherwise such areas would be closed to traps to protect whales from entanglement, and thus lead to large losses of income to the crabbers and also safeguard the whales from entanglement [and entanglement by boaters]. The lack of permanently deployed floats and retrieval lines also avoids damage and loss to traps when ships cut through a crab trap field and which large ships entangle, drag the traps and cut the lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=3LGiBVeauQI
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Old 16-05-2019, 08:22   #2
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

If only!!!


Hope they make it less expensive then all the locals will start using it. I dislike them intensely.


Is it time to admit I'm a meat & potatoes guy?
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Old 16-05-2019, 08:52   #3
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Dream on! It will never happen.

Look at how rundown and shabby your average crab boat is kept: do you think they can afford one cent extra beyond what they already spend?
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Old 16-05-2019, 08:52   #4
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

The widespread use of such smart trap technologies, will likely take a combination of regulation disallowing deployment of traditional buoy / retrieval line traps and the economic / financial incentive to continue trapping crabs if such "lineless" / non-entangling trap systems are allowed.

If the USA and other countries [e.g., Canada] restrict trade [domestic caught or import] of crab caught with traditional crab traps then the commercial market will adapt almost overnight.

The manufacturing cost of such smart trap kits would come down greatly once volume of production is realized.

And if the fishery authorities and coast guards enforce rules against deployment of entangling gear with confiscation and forfeiture [read: the sale or destruction] of boats and of equipment, lose of trapping and fishing licenses and permits, imposing hefty fines and even imprisonment / community service for repeat offenders, then the disincentives will rule the seas as to using old and hazardous technologies, even amongst recreational "locals".

Like most issues, between deploying disincentives and incentives the problem can be overcome with solutions. In this instance there is a technological solution but it requires a bit of sophisticated kit.

Sure would make navigation easier and less hazardous to cruisers.

Anyway, things to ponder as to policy and practice.

But then I couldn't stop, retrieve someone's crab pot and "borrow" a few delectable crabs when out boating. I find crab pot fields just so irresistible and convenient. The two times I have become entangled when boating, the disentanglement required our gathering of some fine crabs; the first time the entanglement was easy to release, the second time the propeller became wrapped and required entering the water to cut the line free and the according loss of the pot that was tossed back into the sea after we had hauled it aboard to retrieve the crabs inside.
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Old 16-05-2019, 09:00   #5
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

It will not catch on on this side of the pond. Apart from the reasons given, other fishermen would shoot their pots over the ones with no visible markers and trawlers would tow them away for the same reason.
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Old 16-05-2019, 09:02   #6
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
Dream on! It will never happen.

Look at how rundown and shabby your average crab boat is kept: do you think they can afford one cent extra beyond what they already spend?
Crabbers, often considered doing the most dangerous job in America, earn a generous salary in a short period of time. When the weather is beautiful and the seas are calm, the work environment is priceless. In stormy weather, job conditions can be life-threatening. The prime crabbing season lasts four months, but crabbers can work on other fishing fleets in the off-season.

Job Description
A crabber works in a dangerous environment. Hard-hitting rain, frigid temperatures and icy boat decks create treacherous working conditions. The workday begins as early as 4 a.m. and may be 13 hours long. Trapping pots that contain bait are put in place and then pulled within 36 to 48 hours. Each pot may weigh as much as 800 pounds, so teamwork is essential to accomplish this task. Pulling the pots is arduous and dangerous work, as swinging ropes and heavy pots dangle overhead. Safety is paramount, and a keen awareness of crew maneuvers and the ocean’s fury are critical. A crabber must have versatile skills – problem solving, repairing equipment, removing ice from the boat deck, driving the boat and even cooking meals could be on the duty list.



Education Requirements
To be eligible for a job as a crew member on a commercial crab-fishing boat, you need a commercial crab-fishing license. You also need specific gear like insulatedrubber boots, wrist covers, warm gloves and a sleeping bag. If you want to be the captain of a crab boat, you will need substantial experience as a deckhand and a captain. A Master license, CG license, STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) endorsement, CPR and first aid certification are all required to be considered for a job as captain of a crab-fishing boat.

Industry
Pay for crabbers hinges on the daily yield and market prices. In 2017, the median hourly wage of fishing workers was $13.72 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most crab-fishing operations offer crew members a percentage of what is caught. Crab boat captains can earn more than $200,000 per year, and crewmen may make as much as $50,000 during a three-month working period. Often, living expenses are paid during the fishing season. The boat owner, if not also being the Captain, will also earn a lot but shares the return with the Captain and crew and of course incurs the expense of ownership of the boat and its operating expenses.

Years of Experience
Securing a position as a crabber is competitive. Previous experience in the fishing industry will give you the edge in securing a job. Greenhorns are generally not welcome, but seasoned crabbers who are licensed have the potential to secure a job as a Master Licensed Crabber.

Job Growth Trend
Available jobs for crabbers are expected to grow by 11 percent. Growth in positions hinges upon supply and demand. The optimal time for crabbers is October through January.
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Old 16-05-2019, 09:08   #7
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by straightman21 View Post
It will not catch on on this side of the pond. Apart from the reasons given, other fishermen would shoot their pots over the ones with no visible markers and trawlers would tow them away for the same reason.
As I understand this scheme, data is collected as to their precise location where they are deployed and uploaded to a public registry so as to provide guidance as to where the pots are set and for regulatory purposes, not only for specific boat to be able to return and retrieve their pots but also to allow others to not deploy directly on top of others equipment and for trawlers to likewise keep away. Recognize that crabbing is seasonal, many of the crew that work on the boats will move to fishing boats when the season is over.

This is NOT crabbing and fishing like grandpa did. Automated GIS is the key to its usefulness.

Think of the stationary deployed trap data as being the equivalent underwater AIS data.
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Old 16-05-2019, 09:32   #8
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Crabbers, often considered doing the most dangerous job in America, earn a generous salary in a short period of time. When the weather is beautiful and the seas are calm, the work environment is priceless. In stormy weather, job conditions can be life-threatening. The prime crabbing season lasts four months, but crabbers can work on other fishing fleets in the off-season.

Job Description
A crabber works in a dangerous environment. Hard-hitting rain, frigid temperatures and icy boat decks create treacherous working conditions. The workday begins as early as 4 a.m. and may be 13 hours long. Trapping pots that contain bait are put in place and then pulled within 36 to 48 hours. Each pot may weigh as much as 800 pounds, so teamwork is essential to accomplish this task. Pulling the pots is arduous and dangerous work, as swinging ropes and heavy pots dangle overhead. Safety is paramount, and a keen awareness of crew maneuvers and the ocean’s fury are critical. A crabber must have versatile skills – problem solving, repairing equipment, removing ice from the boat deck, driving the boat and even cooking meals could be on the duty list.



Education Requirements
To be eligible for a job as a crew member on a commercial crab-fishing boat, you need a commercial crab-fishing license. You also need specific gear like insulatedrubber boots, wrist covers, warm gloves and a sleeping bag. If you want to be the captain of a crab boat, you will need substantial experience as a deckhand and a captain. A Master license, CG license, STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) endorsement, CPR and first aid certification are all required to be considered for a job as captain of a crab-fishing boat.

Industry
Pay for crabbers hinges on the daily yield and market prices. In 2017, the median hourly wage of fishing workers was $13.72 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most crab-fishing operations offer crew members a percentage of what is caught. Crab boat captains can earn more than $200,000 per year, and crewmen may make as much as $50,000 during a three-month working period. Often, living expenses are paid during the fishing season. The boat owner, if not also being the Captain, will also earn a lot but shares the return with the Captain and crew and of course incurs the expense of ownership of the boat and its operating expenses.

Years of Experience
Securing a position as a crabber is competitive. Previous experience in the fishing industry will give you the edge in securing a job. Greenhorns are generally not welcome, but seasoned crabbers who are licensed have the potential to secure a job as a Master Licensed Crabber.

Job Growth Trend
Available jobs for crabbers are expected to grow by 11 percent. Growth in positions hinges upon supply and demand. The optimal time for crabbers is October through January.
This sounds like it applies to the Alaska King Crab fishing which is dangerous and big money. East coast blue crab industry is a completely different story and that industry is low profit, hard work, longer season and the boats can be down to skiff size. I imagine this is similar to crabbing along the west coast as well, excluding the King Crab industry.

I agree that this technology will never happen unless mandated by law which doesn't address the technical issues pointed out.
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Old 16-05-2019, 10:10   #9
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Crabbers, often considered doing the most dangerous job in America, earn a generous salary in a short period of time. When the weather is beautiful and the seas are calm, the work environment is priceless. In stormy weather, job conditions can be life-threatening. The prime crabbing season lasts four months, but crabbers can work on other fishing fleets in the off-season.

Job Description
A crabber works in a dangerous environment. Hard-hitting rain, frigid temperatures and icy boat decks create treacherous working conditions. The workday begins as early as 4 a.m. and may be 13 hours long. Trapping pots that contain bait are put in place and then pulled within 36 to 48 hours. Each pot may weigh as much as 800 pounds, so teamwork is essential to accomplish this task. Pulling the pots is arduous and dangerous work, as swinging ropes and heavy pots dangle overhead. Safety is paramount, and a keen awareness of crew maneuvers and the ocean’s fury are critical. A crabber must have versatile skills – problem solving, repairing equipment, removing ice from the boat deck, driving the boat and even cooking meals could be on the duty list.



Education Requirements
To be eligible for a job as a crew member on a commercial crab-fishing boat, you need a commercial crab-fishing license. You also need specific gear like insulatedrubber boots, wrist covers, warm gloves and a sleeping bag. If you want to be the captain of a crab boat, you will need substantial experience as a deckhand and a captain. A Master license, CG license, STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) endorsement, CPR and first aid certification are all required to be considered for a job as captain of a crab-fishing boat.

Industry
Pay for crabbers hinges on the daily yield and market prices. In 2017, the median hourly wage of fishing workers was $13.72 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most crab-fishing operations offer crew members a percentage of what is caught. Crab boat captains can earn more than $200,000 per year, and crewmen may make as much as $50,000 during a three-month working period. Often, living expenses are paid during the fishing season. The boat owner, if not also being the Captain, will also earn a lot but shares the return with the Captain and crew and of course incurs the expense of ownership of the boat and its operating expenses.

Years of Experience
Securing a position as a crabber is competitive. Previous experience in the fishing industry will give you the edge in securing a job. Greenhorns are generally not welcome, but seasoned crabbers who are licensed have the potential to secure a job as a Master Licensed Crabber.

Job Growth Trend
Available jobs for crabbers are expected to grow by 11 percent. Growth in positions hinges upon supply and demand. The optimal time for crabbers is October through January.
This all about the TV crabbers in the Bering Sea, I doubt that recreational boaters are having much trouble with crab bouys out there!
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Old 16-05-2019, 10:55   #10
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

There is a distinction geographically between the nature of the crabs and the pots which are deployed to catch them.

Along the west coast of north america the issue of entanglement by whales is of keen note.

In Florida and the gulf states it seems that whales are not an issue instead it is bycatch and smaller catch.

https://www.flseagrant.org/wp-conten...nal%200509.pdf

"Blue crab traps become derelict when abandoned, either accidently or sometimes intentionally. Owners may no longer be able to locate
their traps if the buoy becomes separated from the trap, or if the trap itself moves (by storm events or other human activities). Once the buoy and/or trap line have been lost, crab traps are difficult to see from the water’s surface. Because of the coated metal material used in some trap
construction, as well as fouling that often occurs, once lost a blue crab trap can remain in the environment for several years. Bycatch resulting from abandoned blue crab traps can include blue crabs, stone crabs, commercial and recreationally important fin-fish, diamond back terrapin (brackish water turtle) and even raccoons. In addition, other marine wildlife (manatees, sea
turtles, dolphins) can become entangled in the trap line and incur injury or death. The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission estimates that 250,000 derelict crab traps are added to the Gulf of Mexico waters each year.
In Florida, over 800,000 blue crab traps are permitted annually, but it is likely that significantly fewer are being actively fished. However, hundreds of thousands traps are fished state-wide and year round. Of most concern is that an estimated 30-50% of blue crab traps are lost annually."

Traps Retrieval Efforts
Gulf-wide, from 2002 to 2007, thousands of volunteers have participated in the removal of almost 60,000 derelict blue crab traps from Gulf of Mexico marine waters. Texas leads in the number of years of trap cleanups and in number of traps collected; Mississippi and Louisiana ranked second and third, respectively

Initial trap retrieval efforts in Florida were state-led efforts focused not on blue crab traps, but on the retrieval of lost or abandoned stone crab and spiny lobster traps during the closed seasons for those fisheries. Efforts began in the mid 1990’s through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) focusing on the Florida Keys, and included partners such as
Organized Fisherman of Florida (OFF), Monroe County Commercial Fisherman (MCCF) and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). These efforts grew into an annual program coordinated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) that focused on the retrieval of stone crab and spiny lobster traps during those fisheries’ closed seasons statewide.
Historically, identifying and removing lost or discarded blue crab traps among actively fished traps has been problematic because of the absence of a closed season (a two-week closure occurs annually along the Gulf coast between 3-9 nautical miles offshore; however, the majority of the fishery operates in near-shore or inshore waters). The retrieval of blue crab traps differs from the retrieval of stone crab or spiny lobster traps due to the different areas fished – blue crab traps generally are fished in shallow inshore waters, whereas stone crab and lobster traps are fished in deeper offshore waters and often require mechanical retrieval equipment. This makes the physical retrieval of blue crab traps logistically easier, and retrieval programs more amenable to volunteer-based retrieval efforts. But without a closed season, extreme caution must be taken to ensure active traps are not inadvertently removed during retrieval efforts.
Tampering with crab traps (including unauthorized removal of derelict gear) is a third degree felony in Florida and can result in hefty fines and revocation of fishing privileges.
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Old 16-05-2019, 11:06   #11
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

California has come up with an alternative scheme for collecting derelict and wayward dungeness crab pots. Enlisting the aid of commercial fisherpersons to gather them for a reward and to return them to their owners for a fee.

https://www.apnews.com/92917dbbadd04130992ae2b9c5aabf9a

Fisherman Jake Bunch leans over the side of the fishing boat “Sadie K,” spears his catch, and reels it aboard: an abandoned crab pot, dangling one limp lasagna noodle of kelp and dozens of feet of rope, just the kind of fishing gear that has been snaring an increasing number of whales off U.S. coasts.

Confirmed counts of humpbacks, blue and other endangered or threatened species of whale entangled by the ropes, buoys and anchors of fishing gear hit a record 50 on the East Coast last year, and tied the record on the West Coast at 48, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The accidental entanglements can gouge whales’ flesh and mouth, weaken the animals, drown them, or kill them painfully, over months.


This year, Bunch is one of small number of commercial fishermen out of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, and five other ports up and down California who headed to sea again after the West Coast’s Dungeness crab season ended this summer.

The California fishermen are part of a new effort using their cellphones’ GPS and new software pinpointing areas where lost or abandoned crabbing gear has been spotted. They retrieve the gear for a payment — at Half Moon Bay, it’s $65 per pot —before the fishing ropes can snag a whale.

Especially stormy weather this year has meant more wayward crabbing gear than usual, Bunch said recently on a gray late-summer morning at sea.

“Makes it all the more important to pick it up,” he says.

Bunch spots the algae-blackened buoy of his first derelict crab pot of the day just after a humpback surfaces near the Sadie K.

Leaning out the window of his boat’s cabin, Bunch uses his phone to snap a picture of the spot, capturing its location via the GPS setting. Then he hauls in the crab pot, the size and shape of a giant truck tire, and removes the owner’s tag inside that California mandates. He tosses the lone live crab inside the pot back into the water — it’s the offseason.

The crab gear goes back to Bunch’s port, which charges the original owners $100 for returning the lost gear — a bargain, compared to the $250 a new pot costs.

California fishermen and port officials working with the Nature Conservancy environmental group developed the program, designed to be affordable and easy enough for ports to manage on their own.
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Old 16-05-2019, 12:09   #12
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
This sounds like it applies to the Alaska King Crab fishing which is dangerous and big money. East coast blue crab industry is a completely different story and that industry is low profit, hard work, longer season and the boats can be down to skiff size. I imagine this is similar to crabbing along the west coast as well, excluding the King Crab industry.
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.
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Old 16-05-2019, 12:17   #13
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

California Dungeness crab industry to stop fishing 3 months early during 2019 in legal settlement to end whale, turtle entanglements

https://www.ocregister.com/2019/03/2...entanglements/

In what could become a global model to protect whales and sea turtles from becoming entangled in fishing gear, three groups on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 announced a settlement agreement that will close California Dungeness crab fishing for the season on April 15, 2019, three months earlier than usual.

The agreement is the result of a nearly two-year litigation effort by the Phoenix-based Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental nonprofit that in 2017 sued the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, claiming the agency had fallen short in preventing Dungeness crab fishing gear from killing humpback, blue whales and leatherback sea turtles. Fish and Wildlife is responsible for granting the fishery its permits.

In 2018, the industry was valued at $69.7 million.

The settlement also stipulates that the state’s Dungeness crab fishing will close April 1 in 2020 and 2021 and that the wildlife agency will develop habitat conservation plans and monitor whale hot spots in Central and Northern California — where whales feed in the spring along their migration route — to see if earlier closures are required. The area of closure will be from Sonoma County to the south. Areas north of Sonoma County will be open to fishing.

If officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors the federally protected marine mammals off the coast, identify more than 20 whales in an area, an immediate closure could be ordered by the director of the wildlife agency. Early crab fishing closures wouldn’t apply to fishermen with rope-less gear, a technique that is years off.

Additionally, crab fishermen and others using set fishing gear in California will be required to mark all of their gear. Fish and Wildlife is also required to move quickly to get a federal conservation plan and permit into place, the first time the department has pursued a federal permit for protecting endangered species.
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Old 16-05-2019, 12:33   #14
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

I didn't realize the vast number of pots a single vessel may have.

From an article on Canada's crab fishery G zone of the Johnstone strait, north side of Vancouver Island, BC:

Fish harvesters attach one or more traps on a line and set them on the ocean floor. Each fishing vessel has a limited number of traps depending on the vessels length. The number of traps range from 525 for vessels less than 42.5 feet (13 m) to 1,050 for vessel in excess of 52 feet in length. There are 20 licensed vessels in this crab fishing area.

Crab Trap
Crab traps consist of a round steel frame covered with nylon or wire netting. The traps capture crab live by attracting them through an entrance to the centre of the trap where the bait is located. Once inside the trap, the larger crabs are unable to escape. All commercial traps have an escape hatch to allow small crabs and fish to get out and biodegrable components to allow the trap to become self opened and avoid "ghost fishing" if the trap is lost.
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Old 16-05-2019, 12:52   #15
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Re: A Technology That Could End Crab Trap Entanglements?

A shift in the topic as to type of method catching crabs.

Has anyone had experience in catching crabs deploying a trotline?

Reference article on how to construct one and video of harvesting the line:

How To Rig and Prepare a Trotline for Crabbing -Crabbing HQ

What is Trotline Crabbing?
Very generally, this is a technique for catching crabs that uses a long line that is placed on the floor of the water with baited “snoods” along increments of the line. Snoods are just the crabber’s term for a short noose-like contraption with bait attached at the end of it.

Kind of reminds me of the 100 hook baited lines we would set to catch sharks in the San Francisco Bay, the most we caught in on one line was 95 sharks on the 100 hooks, in twenty minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=l_unezhc4SI
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