Fishing Gear Technology I - MSC 132

Course Outline and Syllabus

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces modern rope seamanship and fishing gear theory, design, repair, and analysis as it relates to fisheries research. Emphasis is placed on various practical knots, rope splicing, marine hardware, biological sampling gear classifications, and the basics of net construction, repair, and design. Upon completion, students should be able to implement marlinspike skills; repair netted material; and identify, design, and construct various types of biological entrapment and entanglement gear.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The student will demonstrate proficiency in:

  1. Skills needed for implementation of basic and advanced marlinespike seamanship.

  2. The identification and classification of a variety of biological sampling apparatuses.

  3. Skills necessary for the mending and patching of a variety of netted material.

  4. Applying theories and uses associated with various net hanging ratios.

  5. Applying the critical thinking skills necessary for the design, construction and repair of various types of towed gear, gill nets and entanglement gear.

Course Hours Per Week: Class 2, Lab 3

Course Hours Per Semester: 80

Semester Hours Credit: 3

GRADING: A grade for MSC 132 will be based on the following criteria.

20% - Attendance - Perfect attendance will be rewarded and points will be deducted for absences and tardies. (Minus 1.25 pts. per absence and .42 pts. per tardy)

20% - Class Participation - General aptitude, effort, interest and attention to the manipulative skills necessary for implementation of various projects and/or exercises, as observed by the instructor.

30% - Daily grades - Practical projects, homework, quizzes & tests.

30% - Final Exam - Practical and/or Written

SAFETY NOTE: Due to the nature of this class, as well as OSHA guidelines, no student will be admitted to this class without proper footgear, (ie. no barefeet, sandals, or open ended shoes). Students must follow all safety requirements. Students who ignore or violate safety requirements will be subject to discipline that may include dismissal from the course. Rejections from class will result in an absence for the time missed.


I. Introduction (1st. Day Handout)

A. Description of course and objectives

B. References required and/or suggested

C. Course requirements

D. Attendance & conduct requirements

E. Grading criteria, system or scale, and definitions

F. Supplies and safety considerations

G. Outline of Instruction

II. Marlinespike Seamanship

A. Historical significance

B. Terms and definitions

C. Marlinespike Tools

1. Selection of a knife

a. Use and care

b. Construction, material and blade type

c. Sharpening techniques

d. Safety

2. Miscellaneous tools and/or supplies

a. Fids and marlinespikes

b. Sail makers’ needles and palms

c. Twines and small cordage

d. Tapes, dippings and heat

D. Hitches, Bends & Knots

1. Demonstration and explanation of commonly used Hitches, Bends, and Knots.

2. Characteristics and efficiencies of Hitches, Bends, and Knots.

E. Rope Construction & Materials

1.How ropes are made

a. Twisted or Stranded

b. Braided

1. Double Braid

2. Hollow Braid

2. Materials

a. Natural Fibers

b. Synthetic Materials

3. Selecting and Purchasing Rope

a. Strength and size

b. Fiber characteristics

c. Cost

4. Care and Inspection of ropes

a. External

b. Internal

F. Rope Splices and Splicing

1. Explanations and uses

2. Characteristics and efficiencies of splices

3. Splicing Techniques and their Applications

a. Eye Splice

1. Twisted or stranded rope

2. Hollow braided rope

3. Double braid rope

b. Short Splice/ End-to-End splices

1. Twisted or stranded rope

2. Hollow braid ropes

c. Back Splices

1. Twisted or stranded rope

2. Hollow braid ropes

G. Whipping a line

1. Explanation and Uses

2. Types

a. Quick

b. Sewn

c. Heat and Synthetic Sealants

H. Marine Hardware

1. Explanations and Applications

2. Common types

a. Chains and Thimbles

b. Shackles, links and clips

c. Swivels

d. Hooks

e. Slings and tackles

III. Fishing Gear and Associated Applications

A. Development of Fishing Gear and Fishing Systems

1. Factors affecting methods and gear

2. Classifications of Fishing Gear

a. Universal Categorization

b. Applications

B. Efficiency and Selectivity of Fishing Gear

C. Scientific Applications and Considerations

1. Biological Sampling Procedures

a. Qualitative Gear

b. Quantitative Gear

2. Recording of Biological Data

b. Materials and construction

IV. Netting Construction and Repair

A. Dynamics of Netting

1. Webbing Construction

a. Sizing and measuring

b. Determining Netting Orientation (Horiz. & Vert.)

B. Netting Tools and their use

C. Twine Characteristics

D. Mending Techniques

1. Cutting and Trimming small holes

2. Knots and sewing

E. Patching Techniques

1. Cutting and Trimming large holes

2. Knots and sewing

V. Interpretation of Net Schematic and/or Plans

A. Theory and Techniques

1. Ratios of Hanging Proportions

a. Horizontal (E1)

b. Vertical (E2)

2. Calculation of netting tapers

a. Body tapers

b. Jib tapers

c. All bar tapers

2. Practical factors affecting gear designs, use, and repair

B. Materials

1. Quantity calculations

2. Cost calculations

3. Ordering procedures

C. Practical Applications

1. Gill Nets and Entanglement Gear

2. Towed and Dragged Gear

NOTE: The aforementioned outline should be considered flexible and topics may be shifted in sequence to fit equipment and/or personnel constraints. Information contained in this syllabus was, to the best knowledge of the instructor, considered correct and complete when distributed for use at the beginning of the semester. However, this syllabus should not be considered a contract between Cape Fear Community College and any student, nor between the instructor and any student. The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of Cape Fear Community College, to make changes in course content and/or instructional techniques without notice or obligation.

Good Work Ethics Should Lead to Career Success

Cape Fear Community College and employers recognize the importance of good work ethics. The standards that govern the conduct of persons in the workplace are known as work ethics. More specifically, a persons’ conduct, such as punctuality, honesty, motivation, reliability, cooperation, thoroughness, and creativity, pertains to the values, abilities, and behaviors that he or she brings to the job. Studies show that employees’ lack of ability to do a job accounts for only 15 percent of firings and dismissals. Of the other 85 percent, employers often give the following reasons for “letting employees go”:

  • Frequent absences from work

  • Habitual lateness

  • Inability to get along with other workers

  • Dishonesty

  • Lack of reliability

  • Failure to use resources properly

CFCC instructors want you to be prepared for further education and success in the workplace; therefore, they have classroom and shop/lab rules and standards. Below is a checklist for assessing your commitment to school/work ethics.

__ I understand the importance of quality--the importance of doing a school/job assignment right the first time.

__ I am motivated, and I accept responsibility without close supervision.

__ I am receptive to new ideas, methods, and processes; and I pursue emerging technologies.

__ I speak and write effectively in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

__ I function in a “team” environment that requires working for the “good of the whole”.

__ I am dependable and reliable at school/work, reporting to my classes/job on time and completing assignments within the required time.

__ I am honest in my dealings with instructors, supervisors, students, and coworkers; and I display a cooperative and supportive attitude.

__ I dress appropriately for school and the workplace and maintain a neat, clean appearance.

__ I manage my time effectively and look for ways to be more efficient at school and on the job.

__ I maintain a clean, orderly school/work space and leave it ready for use by others.