Rope Reclamation

Reclaimed Lobster Rope

Artist Orly Genger repurposes line into large, outdoor sculptures.

Groundlines – used in trap fisheries to link one trap to another along the seabed in a long string – wear out over time, and lobstermen must replace them regularly or risk losing gear.

It is often a challenge to dispose of the volumes of rope they use, as rope is notorious for jamming equipment at transfer stations.

Through a unique art project collaboration, this program has sourced hundreds of miles of used, old, retired rope from lobster and offshore crab fishermen for Orly Genger, a NYC artist who creates massive woven sculptures from the line.

To date, the program has sourced over 300,000 pounds of rope, all of it from Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island lobstermen, and most of which was otherwise destined for the landfill.

This program began on the coast of Maine in 2009 while program director Laura Ludwig was with the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation.