Innovative crab pot design opens global markets

The innovation and excellence of the Abacus Fisheries Company Pty Ltd (Abacus Fisheries) was recognised when they were presented the Research Development & Extension Award at the 2021 Western Australian Seafood Industry Awards.

The award category is sponsored by the Western Rock Lobster Council.

The Awards event, recognising excellence in the WA seafood industry, was held at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle and opened by Minister for Fisheries Hon Don Punch MLA in front of a large audience of industry participants and seafood representatives.

With a desire to increase crab pot catch rates, enhance durability and minimise waste, Peter and Sandy Jecks of Abacus Fisheries in Shark Bay embarked on the challenge of improving their crab pot design. Through a high level of innovation, use of Computer-Aided Design software programs and trialling a range of materials, Abacus Fisheries were able to design an injection-moulded plastic crab pot that will increase their catch per pull rate by 100% whilst also reducing effort. The pots are currently in the final stages of research and development before market release and are attracting enquiries for global sales.

WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) CEO, Darryl Hockey, said Abacus Fisheries had demonstrated excellence in developing and undertaking a research, development and extension activity that has contributed substantially towards a sustainable and profitable seafood industry.

“The team at Abacus Fisheries are a great example of innovative and old-fashioned persistence, and the rewards are paying off with a new style of crab pot that could change the industry.

“As an industry body, we recognise the importance of acknowledging those individuals and organisations who make a substantial contribution to benefiting our industry, and Abacus Fisheries are certainly a worthy recipient of this award,” Mr Hockey concluded.