Yale Cordage Teams Up with the National Data Buoy Center and the Oklahoma Aquarium to Advance Ocean Science

Tests Inform the Development of Shark-proof Rope to Secure Tsunami Warning System

December 30, 2013 — Yale Cordage, a custom and specialty rope manufacturer, today announced it is developing versions of rope to withstand the damage that fish and shark bites can do to the worldwide tsunami warning system. Partnering with the National Data Buoy Center and the Oklahoma Aquarium, research proved that aggressive bull sharks could bite through the mooring lines of critical warning buoys, rendering them and the data they collect useless in the event of severe weather and tsunami activity. As a result of the study’s findings, Yale Cordage developed a shark-proof resistant rope that fits the requirements of the U.S. government to secure these important pieces of equipment.

“We’re proud to be apart of a project that will lead to a more stable buoy system, and by extension, help America as well as the world better prepare for devastating natural disasters,” stated Bill Putnam, president of Yale Cordage.

“The Oklahoma Aquarium is a science and education-based facility, so it is extremely gratifying to see that our unique bull shark collection can contribute to such a worthy and worldly cause,” said Kenny Alexopoulos, Oklahoma Aquarium Deputy Director.

“The National Data Buoy Center has been very pleased with the performance of the first generation of fish bite resistant rope, and is looking forward to evaluating the performance of the second iteration of the product,” said Craig Kohler, NDBC Chief of Engineering.

The Oklahoma Aquarium is the only location in the country with a large population of bull sharks in captivity. Representatives from the Oklahoma Aquarium and Yale Cordage cooperated on a National Data Buoy Center-designed experiment to collect data in order to both confirm the damaging effects of sharks on mooring lines and assess the properties of rope necessary to effectively tether the buoys and protect them from damage — all at a cost within the government’s design parameters. While Yale Cordage already produces Shark Byte™, an incredibly strong rope that is used around the world to withstand extreme abrasion, a new product is now in development to meet the government’s requirements. After final testing, the release of the new rope is slated for launch in early 2014.

For more information on the National Data Buoy Center visit: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov

Information on the Oklahoma Aquarium can be found at: http://www.okaquarium.org/