Innovations for Profitable & Sustainable Ocean Harvests


Ashored develops sustainability-enabling technologies for the commercial fishing industry. Ashored is currently developing a ‘rope on-command’ (ROC) fishing system to minimize the risk of whale entanglements and trap loss/damage, while allowing fishers to fish in zones closed to fixed fishing gear.

Ashored’s underwater buoy/rope releases work with existing lobster/crab traps/trawl lines and allow for said gear to be activated via acoustics (or a backup timer) to the surface. Once the buoy and connecting rope rise to the surface, fishermen can use existing onboard equipment and processes to retrieve the gear and prepare it for redeployment. Ashored’s ROC fishing systems include a rope containment and release module (MOBI) that also uses sensors to collect and transmit data to an onboard gear tracking system (ATLAS). ATLAS consists of Ashored’s ATLAS+ software and ‘smart’ tagging to reduce gear loss and allow fishers to automate the tracking of gear and logging of catch information.


The current process for setting, tracking, and logging lobster and crab traps is inefficient and costly. Ashored’s MOBI (Modular Ocean Based Instrument) coils and contains a fisher’s line on the ocean floor until they return to the area to collect the gear. In ROC fishing, MOBIs are activated with an acoustic release (with a passive backup timer) and can be triggered to surface by an on-vessel MOBI Commander just as the vessel arrives back in the area of visual proximity. With extensive user input throughout the design and testing of MOBIs and ROC fishing, Ashored has prioritized simplicity, practicality, robustness, and cost-effectiveness in bringing its solution to users.


Approximately 9 percent of fixed fishing gear is lost each year (worldwide) to propeller damage, storms/currents dragging below the ocean surface, and competitor sabotage. Additionally, traps left behind on the ocean floor can continue to ghost-fish for years. Fishers bear the costs of replacing their frequently lost/damaged gear and the opportunity costs associated with waiting for replacement government tags. To address these issues and prevent potential gear overlay, Ashored is developing ATLAS, an intuitive suite of software and hardware that tracks the location, inventory, connection, and ownership of a user’s fishing gear. Super Tags, Smart Tags, and sensor arrays collect data and ATLAS+ software automates and displays this information in a convenient and actionable manner.