Every product and doormat that we create here at Stern Lines tells a different story as to where the rope originated from. Although the patterns may be similar, no two are ever the same! We truly take our 100% reclaimed/recycled commitment seriously. That is why it is vitally important for us to show our customers the path our products take to their doorstep. Often times, what ends up on your doorstep or dock was just reclaimed as old lobster fishing gear out of the Atlantic a few short days or weeks prior to its arrival at your home! We are the only company in Maine that uses 100% reclaimed/ recycled lobster rope!
Years ago I lived in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and met a handful of lobstermen. Always taken back by their true character and passion for their profession, I kept in touch with many of my lobstermen friends as time moved on. The rope they use to haul traps is usually worn after a season or two and generally ends up in a landfill as it has no real use to a lobstermen anymore. I was mazed by the colorful material and thought to myself, others should be able to see the beauty behind its back story out of the Atlantic Ocean.
Always caring about the environment, my husband and I knew there should be a way to give this retired fishing gear a well deserved second life. When a federal water fishing ban imposed limiting the use of float rope on ground trawls (the lines on the ocean floor between the traps), the lobstering industry changed dramatically here in Maine almost overnight. Today, lobstermen now use a mixture of both float rope and sink rope. Although sink rope is much safer for marine life, it is unfortunately on average twice as expensive as its predecessor (float rope) and is only about 25% as durable. Causing it to breakdown relatively quickly when compared to that of float rope that generally carries a ten year life span. Although float rope is much brighter and more vibrant in color, it is even more important that we continue to recycle sink rope in our local and regional communities!
Today, we now travel from York all the way to Machiasport, Maine on a regular basis gathering and reclaiming old rope form over 36 different Maine lobstermen. Like any marketplace, lobsterman have their preferences too on rope widths, colors and lengths! That is why each rope mission as we call it, is truly a new adventure! We rarely know what color rope a lobstermen is going to have. Since 2012, we have reclaimed and recycled over 80,000 lbs. of Maine lobster rope that would have ended up in a landfill. It doesn’t get any cooler than that!
- Liz Norcia (Co-Founder)