Approved Weak Inserts and Line for the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan
Learn which weak inserts and line are approved for use under the 2021 Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan modifications and how to install weak inserts.
New requirements for gear marking and weak line go into effect May 1, 2022 under the 2021 modifications to the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. These requirements apply to the Northeast Lobster/Jonah crab trap/pot fishery only. Requirements for all other areas, other trap/pot fisheries, and gillnet fisheries remain the same.
The modifications remove the requirement for weak link at buoys and other surface system flotation devices, though they are not prohibited, and adds requirements for weak rope or insertions within the buoy line.
Approved Fully Formed Weak Rope
Average breaking strengths were determined through 10 consecutive tests on a calibrated rope-breaking machine at the NEFSC lab in 2021. These tests are the basis for NOAA Fisheries approval of this rope. Currently the fully formed weak ropes approved for use are:
Shippagan 3/8" has been removed from this list and is no longer approved.
- The approved three-strand ropes can be spliced into traditional buoy ropes to create inserts, or they can be used to replace standard rope as weak rope.
- The approved braided ropes can be used as full weak rope (but not inserts) connected to your regular line using a knot at the depth required for your fishing area (the depth of your lowest required weak insertion or the proportion of your rope required to be weak).
Approved Weak Inserts and Links
Below are images of approved weak inserts and links, as well as videos on how to install approved weak inserts. All weak rope (1700-pound breaking strength) inserts must be at least 3 feet in length.
Please check this page for updates, as we will be adding weak inserts as they are approved.
In-line Link, also called Endline or Buoy Line Breakaway
- In-line inshore links manufactured by Seaside Rope in Warren, Maine have been approved for use and may be ordered now.
- Plante's Buoy Sticks is also making links, including offshore links, that will be tested for authorization as soon as they are available. Please check back for approval and availability.
Novabraid South Shore Sleeve
Available at NEMI in New Hampshire.