Goodbye, herring? Biotech bait gives lobstermen alternative

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Fisheries for lobsters and crabs are grappling with a shortage of bait, but the answer could be coming in the form of a synthetic alternative.

The National Science Foundation has funded the efforts of a Greensboro, North Carolina, firm that has invented a product called OrganoBait. The product mimics bait’s ability to attract crustaceans via smell.

Lobster traps are most commonly baited with dead herring, and there is a shortage of the fish being caught in the waters far off New England. The lack of bait herring threatens one of the most lucrative industries in the region at a time when catches are booming.

Fishermen have tried many different kinds of alternative bait of the years, with varying degrees of success.


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