Date of Award

Winter 2009

Project Type


Program or Major

Ocean Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kenneth C Baldwin


The Time Tension Line Cutter (TTLC) is a device designed to limit the severity of entanglement of whales, the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale (NARW) in particular, in passive fishing gear. In this study, an evaluation of the performance of the TTLC was conducted using a series of lobster trawl tows, as well as a pilot study to test the durability and fishability of the TTLC in real fishing situations.

The trawl tow test data were collected for 5, 10, and 20 trap trawls, consisting of end line loading and trap elevation measurements. The time to cut (TTC) was measured on the TTLC employed in these tows, while the trap elevation and end line loading were used to understand gear behavior in an entanglement scenario. Additional numerical and controlled physical testing was conducted to verify the results of the tow tests. The pilot study employed 50 TTLCs procured by Blue Water Concepts of Eliot ME, which were distributed to fisherman for testing. Data collected consisted of pre- and post-deployment TTC calibrations, as well as a log sheet filled out by the fisherman.