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.