Line-Free/Ropeless Crab Raft™

Humpback & Gray Whales are in serious decline from many stressors including entanglement & bycatch in active bottom set fishing gear as well as ship strikes. Entanglements in West Coast fishing gear has been increasing. The vertical buoy line used in trap/pot fisheries entangle & anchor Whales & other large marine species.

SMELTS™ has invented a patented Line-Free lift bag fishing system using compressed air with variable buoyancy lift bags bringing gear to the surface. SMELTS™ system completely eliminates the vertical line & buoy. This system uses an acoustic modem to track gear location & triggered lift bag inflation. This is a negatively buoyant fishing retrieval system with the ability to lift heavy loads from the seafloor to the sea surface with ease. SMELTS™ proposes testing of crab gear in long-line or trawl configurations to reduce the number of vertical lines in the water column, reducing negative interactions with affected species & allowing efficient use of Crab Raft™ lift bag gear.

See it in Action

Our animation to the right will show you how SMELTS™ Ropeless raft systems work. As you will see, because there are no lines, whales can freely swim without the risk of entanglement and fishermen can continue their work.