“Fishing Gear Innovations: Transitioning to Ropeless Gear for Marine Life Protection”

Transitioning to ropeless fishing gear is a crucial step in protecting marine life from entanglements. While costs are significant, recent analysis suggests they will decrease by up to 50% as adoption scales. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Congress play a vital role in facilitating this transition through funding and legislation. The financial model estimates that converting vessels in two sectors of the commercial lobster fishery in Massachusetts could cost approximately $128 million and $24 million, respectively. The report emphasizes the need for increased investment to realize economies of scale and reduce costs further, while also highlighting the financial benefits of reduced gear loss. Funding and ongoing gear tests supported by NOAA are essential for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of ropeless gear. Securing the necessary funding and support is crucial for the conservation of marine life and the sustainability of fishing communities.