Many lobster boats have been installing these”fences” along the side of the boat where that is opposite the hauling station.
The fence has several purposes. Real estate on a lobster boat is valuable, especially if the lobsterman is a real fisherman and not just a “pot hauler”. A pot hauler is a lobsterman who simply sets his traps out in the same spots and doesn’t take the time to figure out what exactly the lobsters are doing and more importantly where they will show up next. So the “pot hauler” sets his traps and goes back to the same spots over and over and doesn’t move the lobster traps around to try to be where the lobsters will show up next to be caught.
Lugging 100 traps from one area to another and resetting them and adjusting the lengths of the trawl lines for different fathoms is a lot of work and some “pot haulers” would just assume keep to a simple routine even though it doesn’t yield the best results. To be fair, to move lots of traps from one area to a whole different area forces a lobsterman to either have a very large boat in which they can stack a ton of traps on and get lots of traps moved at one time or if they have smaller boats they have to make multiple trips because you just can’t put that many traps aboard due to a shortage of space.
This is where a fence can be beneficial in two ways. All of the buoys and high-flyers and even barrels can be lashed on to the fence to save deck space for work.
Secondly when stacking traps high on the deck of the boat to get as many on as possible for moving them to a different area the fence helps to secure the traps. So if the lobsterman feels that his catch has dropped off and he can catch more lobsters by moving to a different area he can move a bunch at one time and not worry about losing them overboard in windy or rough conditions.