The Gear

Rope On-Demand Systems

Rope on-demand (otherwise referred to as ropeless or pop-up) gear can be used to leave something on the ocean floor and retrieve it at another time without leaving a persistent line in the water column. Some of these systems have been used for decades in scientific and military applications, while others were purpose-built for commercial fishing. All of the rope on-demand systems available in our inventory are triggered using acoustic technology.

EdgeTech 5112

The EdgeTech system resembles a lobster trap divided into two sections. One section of the system holds the endline and the other section has a motor which spins a screw up and down. When up, the screw is secured to a release pin which holds the lid in place.

The trap is tied on like another trap in the trawl and when an anchor is used, it is positioned at the very end of the trawl, resting on the seafloor. One end of the line in the cage is tied to the trawl or anchor, and the other end is tied to the lid of the trap. When an acoustic signal is sent from the surface, the motor spins the screw down, and the lid releases, bringing the endline with it up to the surface.

An iPhone or tablet is used to control the deckbox and mark the gear’s location with GPS once deployed. The EdgeTech system has proven very reliable during CWF trials and is already being fished commercially in Canada.


FioBuoy AC200

The Fiobuoy AC200 acts as a spool for the endline and is buoyant, eliminating the need for external buoys. The endline is prevented from unspooling when underwater by a pin that is shackled onto the line and inserted into a mechanical jaw on the Fiobuoy. The end of the line coming out of the shackle gets tied off to an anchor or to the last trap in a trawl, which it floats above underwater. When an acoustic signal is sent from the surface, the jaws of the Fiobuoy open, allowing the pin to release and the Fiobuoy to unspool, bringing the endline to the surface.

System components used on the vessel include the transducer and deckbox which are used to communicate to the Fiobuoy to release it, and the Psion controller which is used to control the deckbox. This system is sometimes preferred to anchor-style systems in single-pot fisheries since a groundline is not required.


Desert Star ARC-1XD

The Desert Star ARC-1XD system consists of an Acoustic Release Control (ARC) unit, which attaches to a bag made of oyster mesh, zip ties, and PVC piping.

The endline and buoys get coiled into the bag, and a release cord closes the lid of the bag and is secured to the ARC unit with a short piece of Nickel Chromium wire. The bottom of the bag ties off to the anchor or the last trap in the trawl so that the bag floats above it underwater. To recover the unit, the acoustic signal sent from the transducer triggers an electrical charge that causes the Nickel Chromium wire to burn at depth. This releases the tension on the cord, which allows the to lid open, releasing the buoys to bring the endline to the surface.

System components used on the vessel include a deckbox, tablet and transducer to communicate with the underwater bag unit. Fish harvesters can work with Desert Star on bag design for specific applications


Ropeless Systems Inc. Ropeless Riser

The Ropeless Riser is a truly ropeless fishing solution that does not require the use of an endline. It is a lift-bag style system that operates as an extension of the fish harvester’s trap or trawl.

The system consists of a steel frame that an air tank sits in, inflation module, and lift bag. There are two design options of the Ropeless Riser. The smaller version can be attached directly to a lobster trap and uses a 300 lb lift bag with a smaller air tank. The larger version is 65 lb negatively buoyant steel frame with a 500 lb lift bag and is designed for use with a groundline, similar to an anchor in a trawl. When deflated, the bag rolls up into the steel frame and is secured with a Velcro strap. When a release signal is received by the unit, a compressed air cylinder inflates the attached lift bag, bringing the unit to the surface.

System components used on the vessel include a deckbox, tablet, and transducer to communicate with and trigger the system.


Ashored Rope-On-Command (ROC)

The Ashored Rope-On-Command (ROC) system is a simple cage style design that operates as an extension of the fish harvester’s trawl.

The unit consists of a cage that contains the endline as well as a buoyed lid and release system. When the unit is signalled to release, a magnetic key releases the lid from the main body and allows it to surface with the endline for retrieval.

System components used on the vessel include a deckbox, tablet, and transducer which are used to send the signal to trigger the release. The Ashored ROC unit is the second prototype from Ashored. To date this system has shown promise in shallow waters (<20 fa), but needs further development for fishing at greater depths


SMELTS Lobster & Crab Raft

The lobster and crab rafts are another truly ropeless fishing solution that does not require the use of an endline.

The systems consist of a wire mesh cage containing compressed air tanks, and an air hose connects the tanks to a deflated lift bag which is attached to the top of the cage. The lobster raft cage is a regular lobster trap, and the crab raft cage is designed to encase the air tanks either on the exterior or interior of a crab pot. When a release signal is received by the unit, the air cylinder fills the lift bag, bringing the unit to the surface.

System components used on the vessel include a deckbox, tablet and transducer to communicate with and trigger the system.

Weak Rope

A rope that is used as, or integrated in segments into an endline and designed to break at 1700 lbf or less.

Cotesi Polypropylene Rope

A buoyant, mildew-resistant, sturdy 5/16” rope made of monofilament or film polypropylene with a breaking strength of 1700 lbf.

Cotesi Polyethylene Rope

A highly buoyant, lightweight and durable 5/16” rope made of synthetic resin. This rope is easy to splice and has a breaking strength of 1500 lbf.

Rocky Mountain Cord Candy Cane Sink Rope

A low tensile, medium-hard lay 3/8” rope manufactured with 100% polyester which sinks in sea water and maintains its strength when wet. This rope has a minimum breaking strength of 1700 lbf.

Rocky Mountain Cord Red Sink Rope

A low tensile, hard lay 5/16” polyester rope designed to have a minimum breaking strength of 1700 lbf.

Enterprise Shippagan V.3 Tufrope

Tufrope is a synthetic rope containing a lead core. It comes in various diameters up to 5/8” and has a breaking strength of 1700 lbf.

Novabraid Weak Sleeves

A hollow, braided, 6-foot-long polypropylene sleeve that encases a severed point of an existing endline, creating a weak link in the line. The sleeve is spliced into the endline on either end so that it cannot slip out. The breaking strength of the sleeve is 1700 lbf.

SeaSide Inc. Breakaway Swivels

These swivels are breakaway links that allow endlines to freely twist, and are designed to separate at a preset load (600 lbf). If the load rate is exceeded, the interior break pin will fracture and the swivel will separate from the buoy.

SeaSide Inc. and Plante in-line Weak Link

A small plastic connector inserted in the endline that is manufactured to break at 1700 lbf.

Gear Contrivances

Blue Water Concepts Inc. Time-Tension Line-Cutter (TTLC)
Blue Water Concepts Inc. Time-Tension Line-Cutter (TTLC)

A cylindrical device with an internal blade that attaches to an endline. When a continuous tension of a specified amount is applied on the line, the internal blade is triggered, severing the line. The TTLC is compatible with endlines of any breaking strength and has been manufactured to have a minimum cut threshold of 300 lbf.

Hydraulic Load Limiter
Hydraulic Load Limiter

A cylinder containing hydraulic fluid connected to an accumulator which limits tension on the endline by slowing or stopping the hauler when tension exceeds 1700 lbf. This can be used in conjunction with weak line or weak links to limit the parting of gear.

Spring Tag Line Release

A mesh bag containing regular breaking strength line and trawl floats is situated a few fathoms above a trap or anchor and is kept closed with a key that locks into one end of the spring release device. Low breaking strength rope connected to a buoy at the surface is attached to the other end of the device, which releases during hauling once a predetermined amount of tension is reached. The regular endline is then free to exit the bag and be used to haul heavy gear

info@canfishgear.ca
1.877.599.5777 ext. 261
110 Chain Lake Dr.
Halifax, NS B3S 1A9
Canada

Solutions for the long haul

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