ARC-1XD Acoustic Release

Rope-less Fishing System

Scientific Gear Recovery

For Pot and Trap Fisheries 

 Fast Acting and Highly Reliable

In use for recovery of scientific equipment since 2005.  Used as an on-demand ropeless fishing system in commercial trap and pot fisheries since 2013. 

  • Prevents Whale Entanglements 

  • Gear Theft Protection 

  • Ghost Fishing and Ship Strike Mitigation 

  • Fish in higher current waters 

  • Time release for peak market pricing 

  • Retrieve under-water scientific gear 

Common concerns 

 Ropeless Fisher App

Virtual Gear Marking and Gear De-Conflciting  


Odoo CMS- Sample image floating
  • Easily navigate, deploy, and retrieve traps with virtual gear marking, no buoys needed!

  • Available for all Android devices

  • Easy to use interface and map reporting system 

  • Use offline or online

  • Mimmicks traditional and new data sharing techniques 

    • If you don't want others seeing your gear they won't have to!

  • Easier management techniques for regulators and law enforcement 

 Presenting at the Ropeless Consortium

New Bedford November 6th 

Odoo - Sample 1 for three columns

CWLA Ropeless Fishing Video

The Cold Water Lobster Association's (Nova Scotia Canada) experience and Desert Star's findings from a series of sea-trials with the ARC-1XD.

View it here!
Odoo - Sample 2 for three columns

Marco Flagg's Presentation

Founder and CEO of Desert Star, Marco's presentation to the Ropeless Consortium on the ARC, findings from 5 fishery trails and other important information for the future of Ropeless fishing at large.

Odoo - Sample 3 for three columns


A Fishers Eye View

A brief report written by Capt. Robert Harris, a fisher in the CWLA fishing area LFA34 who participated in recent ARC trials. 

History of Rope-less Fishing with ARC-1XD


ARC-1XD Scientifically Validated

Read More

 First validated in 2005 in the Channel Islands for large under-water gear retrieval. 


First Pilot in a commercial fishery

New South Wales and the first rope-less fishery 

 Australian lobstermen test out the ARC-1XD technology for ship strike mitigation near Sydney. (2011)

Since 2013

Commercial Use in Australia

It works!!!

 Validated by independent auditors in New South Wales, Australia becomes the first to commercially use the ARC-1XD. (2013)


North American Pilot Projects Proceeding

North American Pilots 

 Near extinction of the Northern Right Whale has triggered urgent action in North America. Pilot projects lead by DFO are to start in Canada in Spring 2018. US Projects possibly following. 


Individual or Broadcast interegation for high currents and deep waters. 

 Starting from $1995

 Qty 1-9, higher Qty lower unit pricing

In use since 2011

 New South Wales Lobster Pot Fishery

 For Trawls and Large Traps



Affordable for high trap counts in shallower waters in broadcast only mode. 

 Starting from $950

 Qty 1-9, higher Qty lower unit pricing 

 Continued from proven technology

 Refined technology in a smaller, more cost-effective design

 For small traps in shallow waters


Product Description

The ARC-1XD ‘extended duration’ acoustic release is specifically optimized for the operation and remote recovery of large inventories of commercial fishing gear. The ARC-1 acts as a release mechanism for an anchored buoy (any anchor weight), thus eliminating surface equipment and gear from the vertical water column. It provides the operator with real-time status feedback, and then uses a very fast acting mechanism to reliably recover the payload. The ARC has been field tested, validated and used continuously since 2003, and stands as the worlds only fully-functional rope-less fishing system. The ARC-1XD is unique in that it not only prevents whale entanglements but also offers business advantages to fishermen who use it. The ARC also offers new innovation in the way gear is marked and regulators are able to track and control traps (Rope-less fisher app). 

Patent #US 7138603 B2 

What it Means to Become a Ropeless Fishery


Converting a commercial pot fishery into a ropeless fishery entails some large, some minor changes, and benefits and risks to fishers, regulators, and marine life. In order to best prepare for a conversion into a ropeless fishery, each fishery should carefully read and consider Desert Star's "Conversion" document. Every fishery is unique, and variables often change, although we have tried to thoroughly cover all aspects of using the ARC-1 technology in a  commercial fishery setting, we cannot guarantee all questions have been answered. With that said, we strongly urge you to view our advice and consider ropeless fishing. 


How it Works

 The ARC-1XD and payload are fastened to the Pot/Trap. From the vessel the unique serial is called from a surface station (STM). From the STM, the release signal is given via a transducer either in the hull of the ship or over-the-side of the ship. The burn-wire is burnt and the lever arm releases the anchor weight. Allowing the payload/buoy to surface along with the ARC-1XD. 


Interviews with Fishermen

Release Mechanism Up-Close

1) Computer Command
2) Sent to the Surface Station
3) Surface Station Relays electronic command into Sonar ping
4) Ping produced by tranducer attached to surface station
5) Ping reaches the ARC
6) ARC "talks back" with status update
7) Second Ping triggers release
8) High voltage but low amperage charge sent through nickel chromium burn wire
9) Burn Wire disintegrates immediately
10) Lever Arm is freed from anchor weight
11) Buoy and floats to the surface for grappling  

Smarter Fishing with Virtual Gear Marking

Avoid Gear Overlay


The release is armed prior to use by inserting a small length of nickel-chromium wire which constrains a lever.

Test and Deploy

The package is now submerged next to the boat, or placed in a water filled test tub on deck. A command from the deck unit confirms contact by interrogating the unit specific serial ID via testing the device and registering the GPS location. Anchor weight is attached to the bottom while a buoy or floatation (up-to 80lbs float weight) is attached on the opposite end of the top. The instrument package is then dropped to the sea floor and the boat can proceed. 


As the boat approaches the GPS location, the deck box interrogates and ranges to the ARC-1. battery. Status information is returned and the distance measurements are used to position the boat close to or directly above the release. Even if an instrument moved, ranging allows the boat to be positioned for rapid recovery – in particular useful in heavy seas.


 Upon command, the ARC-1 energizes the nickel-chromium wire with a safe low-voltage but very high current pulse is generated from standard 9V and/or AA batteries.. It vaporizes instantly, the lever opens and the instrument package or a buoy rises to the surface. The ARC-1 also confirms released status.

Technology Readiness Rating

Product - ARC-1XD    

Readiness Rating - Mission Verified 

Priority Level - Very High

Sales Rating - C.O.T.S.

Product - ARC-2XD  

Readiness Rating - Alpha

Priority Level - Very High (Primary Engineering Focus)

Sales Rating - Unavailable (Development Funding for fastback possible, please contact us )