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>>

Inside the Industry

The anti-mining group Salmon Beyond Borders expressed disappointment and dismay last week at Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s announcement that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

This came just days after his administration asked members of his newly-formed Transboundary Rivers Citizens Advisory Work Group to provide comment on a Draft Statement of Cooperation associated with Transboundary mining.


NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.

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