Summer 2018, SMELTS Line-Less fishing gear testing photographs.  / PC: Richard Riels & Kevin Rand

Summer 2018, SMELTS Line-Less fishing gear testing photographs. /PC: Richard Riels & Kevin Rand


Line-Less Crab Raft &
Line-Less Lobster Raft


Whether by ocean storms, incorrect line to depth ratios, strong currents or other factors, every day crab/lobster pots are lost to the sea and typically not recovered.

Ghost gear, the term used for fishing gear that is lost to the sea, continues to capture fish with no benefit to the fishermen. This loss effects the profitability of the fishing communities and is a major source of marine debris.  Countless marine animals are injured and killed from interactions with the traditional crab/lobster fishing lines, when marine mammals swim through them they become entangled, this ‘Bycatch’ (the capturing or entanglement of a species that was not being targeted for fishing) is a major environmental and economical problem that can be remedied with Line-Less pot technology.  Line-Less pot technology has the ability to lessening the financial burden on fisheries and reducing with a potential of ending marine mammal injuries and death from the traditional crab/lobster fishing lines.


The design of our Line-Less gear is essentially the same as what crab and lobster fisherman have always used. We have simply taken the countless feet of lines and buoys and replaced them with inflatable bag technology. This technology is already utilized everyday in salvage operations. Buoyant force is a reliable and efficient way to recover items from the oceans depths. The gear is brought to the surface using a timer control or a sonar trigger. Once at the surface, the blinking LED in the bag and highly reflective tape allow for visual location. A radar reflector, GPS, and radio tracker are all built into the inflation module to assist in tracking the location of the gear.

How does it work?