Rope once used to connect lobster traps on the ocean floor soon will be showing up at people’s front doors.
At a warehouse in this commercial fishing port, a steady stream of lobstermen arrived last week with pickups and trailers loaded with millions of feet of colorful rope – blue, orange, white, green, red, purple, pink.
A new regulation, designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, prohibits lobstermen from using the floating rope to connect their traps because the whales can get tangled in it. So lobstermen are selling the rope to a nonprofit foundation.
All the rope taken to the warehouse will be used to manufacture multicolored hand-woven doormats. The Maine Float-Rope Co., in Waldoboro, plans to sell the Down East Doormats through its website and to stores across New England.
David Bird, owner of manufacturer Custom Cordage LLC, said he’s made more than 700 of the mats so far and has enough rope to make another 30,000.
Photo by Associated Press.