DV-19-12 Alternative lobster bait attractant testing

Dr. Steven Jury
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) is the preferred bait for the American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery. In an effort to increase herring recruitment and spawning stock biomass, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has reduced commercial landings, spurring interest in finding and testing alternative bait attractants for the lobster industry. Recently, researchers tested various attractants and evaluated their ability to catch lobsters compared to traditional bait methods (i.e. herring). These preliminary trials showed that two attractants with the most potential are green crab ‘extract’ (ground green crabs) and a feed attractant mixture (FAM) used for shrimp aquaculture.

 The main objectives of this study are to manufacture baits that contain the two most promising attractants, test the attractability of these bait ingredients, and perform surveys using the baited traps in order to determine the level of efficacy of these attractants in comparison to traditional methods. The data collected from this study may inform the development of a more comprehensive study in the future.

Sea Grant Funds: $5,000