Project Description


Onboard robotic lobster trap handling and stacking device.

Making at-sea work safe and productive.

Clare Machine Works, in partnership with Oakleaf Crane & Inspection Services Ltd., manufacturers and distributes custom mechanical lifting devices for onboard trap handling for the Southwest Nova Scotia Lobster Fishery.

Decrease Injury | Increase Production

Consult with us about your project

Improving At-Sea Safety Through Innovation

The Lobster Trap Stacker is an ideal way for handling heavy and awkward payloads like lobster or crab traps, in a safe and efficient manner, while reducing physical strain and injury.

Innovation For Your Benefit

We know the pain and injury sustained by onboard fishery workers is the highest of any industry. Fishing is hard work. It can be dangerous and challenging at the best of times. Add to that rolling seas, and lifting heavy traps has just become significantly more challenging.

Reduce Injury while Increasing Productivity

Lobster fishing is the main employer in many areas of Atlantic Canada. It is a physically demanding, but financially rewarding career.

The physical demands are driving high rates of injury, Worker’s Compensation Board claims and ultimately discouraging people from pursuing work in this industry. The Captains and boat owners are spending more on insurance than other industries and are actively seeking ways to improve working conditions on board.

Currently, the fishing industry is faced with 3 times the average Nova Scotia compensation rates because of the injury claims – with back injuries documented as the most common type of claim.

Changing The Industry

  • Clare Machine Works is working to lower the injury rates by drastically diminishing the need for heavy lifting aboard a lobster boat and therefore reducing compensation rates and associated insurance premiums.
  • Clare Machine Works respects diversity in the workplace, and has developed the Trap Stacker to help broaden the labour force.
  • At-sea employers can now bring on a wide range of people to do the job. Instead of having a labour force mostly taken by 20 – 30 year old males, use of the Trap Stacker can open a wider window of opportunity to men and women of different ages, keeping the turnover rate low by retaining experienced workers.



Since 1972, Clare Machine Works has been connecting ideas to innovation in service to the global marine and fisheries sectors.




8:00am – 5:00pm






8:00am – 5:00pm