National Fisherman

For nearly 20 years, scientists have been working to figure out why horseshoe crabs are the best bait for eel and whelk and to produce a substitute.

Dr. Nancy Targett, dean of the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and director of Delaware Sea Grant says that work is now bearing fruit. Scientists recently unveiled a new, synthetic bait that is highly attractive to eel and whelk, yet uses only a fraction of the horseshoe crabs previously needed in the industry.

"We developed an artificial bait that's affordable and more easily stored," Target said. It's a win-win."

The artificial, composite bait her research team developed uses a small amount of ground horseshoe crab, compounds in brown seaweed, food-grade chemicals such as baking soda and citric acid, and tissue from an invasive species, the Asian shorecrab.

The addition of the Asian shorecrab allows researchers to reduce the amount of horseshoe crab tissue needed from one-half a female crab to one-sixteenth.

In addition, it's no longer only female crabs that are used as bait.

"We found that it didn't matter whether we used female or male horseshoe crab tissue in the artificial bait," Targett said.

Read the full story at Cape Gazette>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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