KING CRAB SPECIES - There are numerous species of king crab. In Alaska there are 3 primary species including the red king crab, the blue king crab and the brown king crab. King crab pots modified with Neptune crab triggers work very well for blue and brown king crab. Both these species are aggressive crab that live in rough terrain and go through Neptune triggers very easily. The red king crab usually lives in flat terrain and is not as aggressive as the other two species. Most king crab pots used in Alaska are usually 7' x 7' x 3' high and can weigh 400-600 lb depending on the amount of steel rod used in the frame. Nylon net is stretched tight around the pot to cover it. They usually have two opposing openings that are at the top of the inwardly leading net ramps. Neptune triggers are attached to a rectangular shaped steel "tunnel eye" to create a 1-way entry.
There are two king crab pot makers in the Seattle area. They are Dungeness Gear Works (425-742-4327 or www.dungenessgearworks.com ) and Eclipse Gear and Supply(425-742-6933 or email@example.com ).
TANNER CRAB SPECIES - Neptune Marine's origins can be traced back to the original tanner crab trigger developed for the Alaska fishery in the late 1970's and early 80's. This trigger design utilized a single row o fingers mounted on the top of the entry tunnel eye that kept the crab in the pot. This trigger design is still well suited for a nesting pot design built by both the Seattle pot makers. Featuring collapsible tunnel ramps and a purse string bottom, this crab pot design can also be rigged to catch Tanner crab are also found in Eastern Canada and Greenland. Various top entry nesting traps are used in these fisheries and utilize a tapered funnel as an entrance device. Crab can escape from these funnel equipped pots if they get turned on their sides or during hauling. Neptune triggers would work quite well on these top entry traps, replacing the funnel. Catching more by losing less always pays.
DUNGENESS CRAB - Commercial and sport Dungeness crab fishermen in the Northwest and Alaska are starting to experiment with Neptune triggers in their pots. They can be adapted to existing round pots or can be used in other pot designs.
Neptune Marine has developed some new crab pot designs that feature Neptune triggers. While their primary use is for Dungeness crab, they can also be used for blue crab. All Neptune pots are built with Riverdale Aquamesh pvc coated wire mesh and marine crab aluminum clips. These materials have been proven to be very durable in the Atlantic lobster trap fishery over the past 20 years.
OTHER CRAB SPECIES - Jonah, rock and stone crab are all candidates to join other crab species around the world as being likely to be captured with the help of Neptune triggers. It takes a combination of good trap and trigger design to create good catching gear. Fishermen are very good at improvising to come up with good designs. We get some of our best ideas from fishermen. Our triggers should be considered to be the tools that fishermen can use to build pot designs that work best for them.
CHACEON CRAB - Chaceon crab are a family of crab that are found in deeper waters around the world. They are primarily in Southern oceans and in the Atlantic and Caribbean. They are not found in the Northern waters of the Pacific to our knowledge. There are 10 or more varieties of Chaceon crab. Those being fished commercially include the following:
GOLDEN CRAB (Chaceon fenneri) - The Golden crab is fished off the East coast of Florida by a small fleet of vessels. They all have modified their traps with Neptune triggers to increase catch rates. A doubling of their catch was noticed once the gear was modified with Neptune triggers..
RED CRAB (Chaceon quinqidens) - The Red crab fishery takes place off New England by a limited number of boats. Most of the pots being used are top entry traps that do not use Neptune triggers, ... yet. Neptune entrances would work very well on the existing traps, or could be used in the design of new trap designs that could be either nesting like the Canadian snow crab pots or with a rigid frame. Red crab are also caught commercially in waters off West Africa.
CHACEON BI COLOR - Limited fishing trials in New Zealand, have discovered Chaceon crab in these waters. They are also known to be in southern waters around Australia.
CHACEON AFFINIS - This variety of Chaceon crab is also called red crab at times. Amongst other areas, it is found south of the Faroe Islands, Iceland and in the deep waters west of Ireland and England.
DEEP WATER SPECIES - Numerous species of crab live in deep waters that are usually unreachable by most crab fishermen. The Brown king crab fishery in the Aleutian Islands is one of the most daunting pot fisheries in the world. Fishing in areas with depths between 400 to 800 fathoms, boats set pots on longlines along rocky ledges. Strong currents keep the buoys submerged for a large amount of the time with the exception of the tidal change. Fishermen use radio transmitters on their buoy sticks to help them find their gear when it pots to the surface during the change of tides. Very large hydraulic haulers measuring 6 feet in diameter are used on some boats that use the larger pots and longer strings of pots.