President's Message
Koen Van Goethem

Dear Friends of the Cordage Institute and of the Rope and Netting Industry,

I hope this message finds you all well and healthy in these difficult pandemic times.

2020 started off with sad news. On January 1 st, Dave Richards passed away. He was a true leader and technical anchor with incomparable knowledge in the rope industry for over 40 years. Being a long-time member of the Institute, he served as the Cordage Institute’s Technical Director from 2004 to 2017.

Since 2017, the Cordage Institute’s Board of Directors named The Richards Technical Contribution Award in Dave’s honor. This way he’ll always stay in our mind and our heart.

On the 29 th – 30 th of January, we had our winter Technical Committee Meetings at a new location, in downtown Philadelphia at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco. A clear hit, all numerous attendees agreed afterward.
(Thanks to Pete Lance and James Wolfington). The meetings were well prepared and the input and commitment from all present is moving our Association clearly to a higher technical level. Everybody was positive about the outcome of the progress we’re continuously making. (Thanks to Sarah Padilla, Josh Walls, and all the technical chairs).

A big thanks to the Associate members which sponsored this winter meeting with their continued support: DSM Dyneema – FibrXl – Fletcher Industries – Hailide America – Herzog – I-Coats – Kuraray – Teijin Aramid – TP Industrial Yarns.

And then, the year 2020 changed for all of us. COVID – 19, an unknown pandemic, hit us worldwide, very hard. In response to the pandemic, the Cordage Institute’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to postpone the Annual Conference at The Greenbrier to November 9-11, 2020 (Monday to Wednesday schedule).

Furthermore, we recently decided that we’ll organize online Technical Committee meetings on Wednesday, June 3 rd and Thursday, June 4 th, and an online Special Meeting of the membership on Thursday, June 4 th prior to the start of the Technical Committee meetings that day in order to approve the budget for the CI fiscal year beginning July 1 st, as required by the bylaws. In addition, an online Board of Directors meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 2 nd.

In the meantime, this is a time in which we stand together as a team, as partners, as friends.

The Cordage Institute is an Association in which we find these values.

Together we can fight and defeat this virus.

Stay healthy and take good care of yourself and your families.
Cordage Institute Happenings
The Cordage Institute's Annual Conference and 100th Anniversary Celebration Postponed
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cordage Institute’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to postpone the Annual Conference at The Greenbrier to November 9-11, 2020 (Monday to Wednesday schedule), and the special 100 th Anniversary Reception and Dinner will now be held on Tuesday, November 10 th. The full conference schedule is available here.

For those members who registered, paid registration fees will be automatically applied toward the rescheduled conference, and a representative of The Greenbrier will contact those who reserved accommodations to review options for transferring the reservations to the new dates.

Online registration for the postponed conference is scheduled to be launched in June.
Cordage Institute to Hold Virtual Meetings on June 3-4, 2020
In order to maintain momentum on Cordage Institute standards, guidelines, and test methods during this time, online Technical Committee Meetings will be held on Wednesday, June 3 rd and Thursday, June 4 th.

These meetings will tentatively be held between 10am and 1pm EDT on each day in consideration of the various time zones of CI Members, and actual meeting times will be confirmed based on how much time each Subcommittee and Task Group will need for their meetings.

In addition, an online Special Meeting of the membership will be held on Thursday, June 4 th prior to the start of the Technical Committee meetings that day. This meeting, which is required by the bylaws, will be to review and approve the budget for the CI fiscal year beginning July 1 st.

Please mark your calendars for these meetings. Once meeting times are finalized, an invitation with information on joining the meetings will be sent to CI Members.
Historical Spotlight: June 1945 Issue of CordAge Magazine
As we prepare to celebrate the Cordage Institute’s 100th Anniversary, we thought you might enjoy this article on the Cordage Institute’s first twenty-five years. The article’s headline notes, “Far-Reaching Results in Peace and War Attained by Association of Industry Now in Its Twenty-Sixth Year; Its Constant Endeavors Have Brought Benefits That Have Been Spread to All Branches of Industry and Nation at Large."

Recap of the Cordage Institute Winter Technical Meeting
The Cordage Institute Winter Technical Meeting Sponsors
From left to right: Philip Snead (TP Industrial Yarns), Stuart Smith (Hailide America), Binay Patel, Bill Fronzaglia (DSM Dyneema), Benno ter Horst (FibrXL), Friso Heeren (TP Industrial Yarns), Amy Jenkins (Teijin Aramid), Forrest Sloan (Kuraray), and Koen Van Goethem (I-Coats NV)
Sponsors not appearing in photo: Fletcher Industries, Inc. and Herzog GmbH
On January 29-30, 2020, the Cordage Institute held its Winter Technical Meeting at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, PA. The two-day meeting consisted of Technical Subcommittee and Task Group meetings, as well as a meeting of the full Technical Committee.

Attendees enjoyed a lively group dinner at Cuba Libre, located a few blocks from the hotel, and reports from each Subcommittee and Task Group were provided.

Knots & Notes
by Sarah Padilla, Cordage Institute Technical Director
Back by popular demand, the Knots and N otes section of RopecordNews will inform you of the standards being developed by the Cordage Institute, as well as by other industry organizations. As we develop this section of the newsletter, please let us know what type of content is of interest to you by sending an email to or
Standards Update
Updates from the Cordage Institute Standards subcommittees on how things are progressing since the last newsletter.
The Standard Review
Updates from other standards bodies that are relevant to the cordage industry.
Message From Eurocord
By Rui Faria, President and Philippe Verschueren, Secretary General
The Eurocord Community suffers alike as the whole European business environment from the COVID-19 lock-downs in almost all European countries. Many companies have closed or significantly reduced their activities, many times by lack of appropriate transport means. Fishing, offshore, hoisting, agriculture, not one sector escapes the rough and sudden collapse of industrial, commercial or distribution exchanges. Pretty difficult exercise for all businesses, worldwide, with no clear view, when and how this will be turned around.

Obviously, our thoughts go primarily to all those who suffer from this pandemic crisis, be it personally, professionally or financially. Hope everyone will be able to recover from this life-changing situation without too many concerns.

Just like the Cordage Institute, Eurocord had to postpone its Annual Meeting, initially planned for June 14 th – 16 th in Vienna. It is not decided yet whether we will hold our Congress later this year or just skip the 2020 edition and go for a regular 2021 edition. Hopefully, we will be able to decide soon, in view of a re-establishing situation.

In the meantime, all activities are on low, still, this hasn’t refrained Eurocord from continuing in its main technical activities. Video conference meetings have taken place concerning Machinery Directive, ISO, Plastic Waste Management, and even our last Board used the MS Teams tools. On top Eurocord is engaged in a commercial protection file with the EU Commission, concerning dumping practices from foreign competitors in ropes. Still in its preparatory phase, soon it will be clear whether it can materialize or not.

I wish all of you a safe and healthy pursuit of your respective endeavors and truly hope we will all get out of this awful situation as soon as possible. Good luck with your ambitious aspirations!
COVID-19 Pandemic and the Shifting Landscape for Employers and Employees
By Robert J. Weil, Law Office of Robert J. Weil, PLLC
NOTE: The information contained in this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it intended as a substitute for consultation with and the professional judgment of experienced legal counsel.

Trying to stay ahead of the curve during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been an unwelcome challenge from the perspective of navigating one’s daily personal life. Concerns as to where to find toilet paper or which store has anti-bacterial soap or hand sanitizer were unlikely on anyone’s list of everyday challenges before mid-February. During this historically tumultuous time, as an employer you are now being presented with a raft of unforeseen practical and legal business operational, financial and human resources issues that were unlikely the subject of any of your existing company policies.

Given how quickly COVID-19 related questions have arisen and corresponding answers evolve, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations and guidelines issued by the CDC as well as federal, state and local public health officials. By way of example, weeks ago the CDC recommended not wearing a face mask unless you had been exposed to the virus. Now the CDC’s recommendation is that individuals wear face masks when venturing out in public. As the experts discover more about the virus, it will become even more important to stay current on the latest public health guidelines.

As an aside, and on a hopeful note, at the outset of this pandemic a number of my clients were facing significant contractual liability issues in connection with long scheduled events and conferences at locations around the country and overseas. In the ensuing weeks I have observed that a spirit of cooperation and partnership has developed in response to the needs of both parties to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions. The all-or-nothing option has for the most part been put on the shelf, at least for the time being. There appears to be a shared sense that we are all in this together and that we will all be experiencing some level of pain, so let’s work through the problem and come up with an answer. I remain hopeful that this trend will continue, at least for the duration of this emergency.

Industry News
Early String Ties Us to Neanderthals
By Siobhan Roberts, The New York Times
A 50,000-year-old fragment of cord hints at the cognitive abilities of our ancient hominid cousins.

Building a curriculum vitae is a time-consuming process — just ask Homo neanderthalensis.

First unearthed in the Neander Valley in Germany, Neanderthals were long known for one quality: their extinction, about 40,000 years ago. In the late 19th century, the German naturalist Ernst Haeckel didn’t do the species any favors when he recommended the name Homo stupidus.

In recent decades, however, the Neanderthals’ skill set has expanded. They now are known to have made a glue-like birch bark tar (no trivial task), cave art and shell beads. They hunted large mammals like stags and bulls as well as fish, ducks, raptors and rabbits. And they made stone tools and projectiles.

Canada Imposing Mandatory Gear Marking for Some Fisheries in 2020
By Paul Withers, CBC News
Hundreds more fishermen in Atlantic Canada are being drawn into the effort to protect endangered right whales this year.

Specially coloured fishing gear rope will become mandatory with the start of the season in every lobster and crab fishery in Eastern Canada. The rope must identify the region, species being fished and individual fishing area.

The requirement is also intended to maintain access to the U.S. seafood market by demonstrating Canada has rules comparable to those in place for fishermen south of the border.

The details were spelled out in a notice to fish harvesters that was issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on Dec. 20, and make good on a promise made by the federal government earlier in 2019.

"The new requirements are part of the government of Canada's continuing efforts to improve tracking of gear, address ghost gear and further identify management measures threats to marine mammals, in particular North Atlantic right whales," the notice says.

DFO says further management measures to protect the right whale will be announced in the coming weeks.

New ‘Pop-Up’ Fishing Gear Could Reduce Whale Entanglements
By Ariella Simke, Forbes
Whales cruising through the ocean sometimes get snagged in fishing gear that is either in use, or left behind as old, derelict ghost gear. In recent years, increasing whale entanglements off of the California coast have prompted regulators and fishers to address the issue. In addition to shortening the season to avoid times of high whale activity and making changes to gear regulations, some private companies are trying out a new kind of gear altogether. The idea of ‘pop-up’ technology has emerged as one way to keep dangerous lines out of the water and away from unsuspecting wildlife. These technologies are still overcoming some challenges but are currently in use in Australia.

With new technology emerging, regulations must also reflect these changes. A program currently being developed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife called R.A.M.P (the Risk Assessment Mitigation Program), seeks to prevent entanglement of marine life by creating regulations that balance the needs of fishers with the movement and behavior of whales. Pop-up technology is being tested as one possible method to keep whales safe.

Divers With Clean Seas Program Remove Tons Of Marine Debris From Fragile Reefs
By Jeff Kart, Forbes
What started in the Florida Keys could go nationwide, and that’s a good thing.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is out with a report on the impact of marine debris cleanups as part of a program called Goal: Clean Seas Florida Keys. Actress Sissy Spacek lent her voice to a video about it.

In its first year, from July 2018 through July 2019, the effort completed 49 cleanup trips, using hundreds of recreational and professional divers to remove almost 14,700 pounds of debris, along with 78 intact lost and damaged fishing and lobster traps, hundreds of pieces of trap debris, and 16,369 feet of line, according to the report.

Kris Sarri, the foundation’s president and CEO, says there are plans to bring the program later this year to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California. That Clean Seas effort aims to build on previous shoreline cleanups at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Plans there are to remove thousands of pounds of marine debris from difficult-to-access shorelines. The project will benefit resources including some of California’s most productive fishing grounds and rocky intertidal and coastal/beach habitat, home to rookeries including California sea lion and seabird nesting sites, Sarris adds.

Upcoming Industry Events
August 11-14, 2020
Marina Bay Sands Convention Center

September 14-16, 2020
Savannah, GA
JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District

October 1-3, 2020
Atlanta, GA
Georgia World Congress Center

October 4-7, 2020
Denver, CO
Sheraton Denver Downtown

November 9-11, 2020
White Sulpher Springs, WV
The Greenbrier

December 15-17, 2020
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

May 3-6, 2021
Houston, Texas
NRG Park

The Cordage Institute |

RopecordNews is published by the Cordage Institute. The Cordage Institute is an international association of rope, twine, and related manufacturers, their suppliers, and affiliated industries. Articles appearing in RopecordNews are the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Cordage Institute. Members are encouraged to contribute articles and items of interest by emailing them to
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Cordage Institute Headquarters

Peter M. Lance, Executive Director
Tel: 610-971-4854
Fax: 610-971-4859