Chair puts twist on lobster trap

For a long time, old lobster traps have found a second life as household furniture. People take old wooden lobster traps and turn them into coffee tables. This weekend, I came upon another twist on the idea.

The missus and I were strolling through the Maine Mall Friday night when I spotted something different amongst the kiosks offering cell phones, sunglasses, scarves, makeup and the like. What to my wondering eyes should appear but two rocking chairs made out of vinyl-coated lobster trap wire, equipped with cup holders that look like bait bags made of poly twine.

Behold the Lobstah Rockah. That’s the high-back version pictured at left. Scarborough, Maine-based Sea Rose Trap Co., a lobster trap manufacturer, also makes a line of outdoor furniture. Its chairs, rocking chairs, loveseats, footrests, end tables and coffee tables are all made out of trap wire. The company says they’re designed to be sturdy, comfortable and made to last.

According to the Sea Rose website, company owner Don Jackson has been lobstering since 1975. He started Sea Rose and making lobster traps in 1993.

He and fellow lobsterman Eric Leduc began receiving requests from friends for various household and garden items. While working on one of those projects, Jackson developed the idea for a lobster trap chair.

The other furniture creations eventually followed. Jackson and Leduc go lobstering in summer and turn to trap making and furniture building in the winter.

I knew none of this when I encountered the Lobstah Rockah. I just thought it was an interesting idea. Moreover, sitting in it proved surprisingly comfortable. Maybe lobsters don’t just stick around in traps for the herring. Perhaps they’re just too comfortable to leave.

The lobster trap furniture isn’t the only product made out of fishing gear. For example, you can buy baskets, doormats and rugs made from recycled lobster float rope.

Whether they’re working a variety of fisheries, seeking alternative markets, or finding ways to add value to their offerings, fishermen understand the value of diversifying to maximize revenues. So if you can find another market for your gear and equipment that can add to your revenue stream, so much the better. Every little bit helps, right?

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