Over the past 8 years, Elliott's Trap Ltd. has developed the Marine Ballast Skid, which promises to be more beneficial to fishermen than
the conventional wooden trap shoe, combined with concrete blocks installed within the lobster trap, for ballast. This new product combines the necessary ballast weight
with the trap shoe, leaving more room inside the trap.
Each of these reinforced concrete shoes weigh approximately fifteen pounds.
Marine Ballast Skids are "environmentally friendly" as they eliminate the necessity of chemically treating wooden shoes to protect against marine worms , which is necessary in some areas. Thus, these concrete shoes save time, money and the environment.
One problem with wire traps has always been the possibility of them landing on their side or top. As the weight of the ballast is all in the skid, or shoe, the trap always makes a feet-down landing and also hauls to the surface upright.
In south-western Nova Scotia, where they fish during the winter months, when removed from the water to storage in freezing temperatures, there has been no frost damage noted to those skids.
Anyone building their own traps will appreciate the speed of installing these skids. Instead of installing shoes, and then, internal ballasts, all is accomplished in one easy operation. There is also no need for floatation or other self-righting helps.
When these skids are attached to a wire trap, the total weight being equal to a conventional wire trap, the submerged weight is greater than the latter, as there is no wood involved.
When skids are used on crab and shrimp traps, where they sit on mud bottom, very little mud is brought to the surface, in comparison to conventional traps.
These Maring Ballast Skids have been tested for six fishing seasons (12 months use) with no noticeable wear or breakage with normal handling.