Maine Patent of the Month – November 2022

Both hobby and commercial fishing methods often rely on traps to capture small marine life. Lobster traps are certainly the most common, but they work well to capture other creatures like fish and crabs. Unfortunately, these traps come with gear like lines and nets which pose risks to the larger marine life that are not intended to be captured. Whales, dolphins, and large fish can become entangled and suffer when they cannot break free. 

Blue Water Concepts, Inc. has tackled this inhumane issue, developing a blade to sever the ropes with ease. These blades are designed to integrate and connect to the existing gear lines and trap retrievers. 

The device is designed to expose the blade upon compression. This compression might be initiated when a whale, or other large sea creature, becomes entangled and tries to swim away. The force of their pulls creates a compressive force on the rope severing device, releasing the blade which can then cut the rope. With a severed rope, the whale can more likely swim free. The sensitivity to compression is controlled so that ocean currents or movement within the trap cannot trigger the blade.

Maine-based Blue Water Concepts, Inc. is an R&D and engineering firm focused on electro-mechanical projects. They work to take early-stage ideas, technologies, and products and develop them into tangible creations. With this expertise, the company has engaged in a wide array of fisheries-related projects, improving the efficiency and safety of marine gear.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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