National Fisherman

Boats & Gear 

Michael CrowleyThe Boats & Gear blog is overseen by our Boats & Gear editor, Michael Crowley. It explores new construction projects, electronics, gear and equipment for the commercial fishing industry.

New Bedford’s State Pier hosted Commercial Marine Expo on June 11 and June 12. The surrounding docks were packed with scallopers, draggers and some gillnetters and clam boats.

Near the entrance to the show floor, was Notus Electronics, one of 119 exhibitors. Notus, based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, brought its latest product, which is particularly appropriate for New Bedford with its large scallop fleet.

The Notus Dredgemaster20140626 Notus blogThe Dredgemaster is a wireless sensor that mounts on a scallop dredge and monitors how much wire is out, the dredge’s pitch angle and the heel angle. All three are critical factors when towing a scallop dredge. Run out too much wire and you lose the optimal angle of pitch for the front of the dredge — about 9 degrees. And you don’t want the dredge to roll over when it’s being set or towed.

Notus Electronics has been building sensors for the commercial fishing industry for 22 years. It’s not a newcomer to the game. But Commercial Marine Expo did have some newcomers to the fishing industry with interesting products.

One of them was Enforcer One out of Fayetteville, Ga. Enforcer One brought its line FireAde products, which are designed to extinguish both class-A and class-B fires.

Some products extinguish fires by cutting off the source of oxygen, but FireAde is a cooling agent that removes heat from a fire. It works so well that you are supposed to be able to spray your hand with FireAde, then aim a torch at your hand and not feel any warmth.

FireAde is a compressed foam concentrate that is added to water, in amounts from 3 to 6 percent. It leaves a layer of foam over the area that prevents additional combustion. The manufacturer also claims that from an environmental standpoint, FireAde is “relatively harmless.”

Now those are just two out of 119 good reasons to have gone to the show. Stay tuned to NF Live for video coverage of the show!

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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