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Ropeless traps? Why not?


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It's good to see Massachusetts and other government agencies investing some time and money in investigating new trap technology:

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The gear designs use submerged buoys, activated by time-release mechanisms or signals transmitted from the surface, to surface carrying a line to retrieve the traps.

West Coast fishermen, gear designers and conservation groups have worked at testing ropeless gear for the Dungeness crab fishery, which is subject to shutdowns to lessen dangers of entanglements with migrating humpback whales.

The Massachusetts study would bring that effort to East Coast lobster waters.

 

But there's so much more to be done. Even if this tech worked wonders, it's not like everyone can just turn their gear over overnight. The government is going to have to both subsidize the development of the tech, subsidize the swap of old traps for new, and then subsidize the difference in price for a significant period of time. And that all assumes they work in a way that allows for lobstermen, et al, to harvest in the same way. It may be more labor and diesel intensive to find these things when they pop up - who knows? 

But this is not a "build it and they will come" situation. 

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