A small team from the Montreal Biodôme is working in its laboratory with a lobster experiment to produce a bait alternative based on microalgae for shellfish fishing.
With Ottawa’s ban on mackerel and herring fishing, fishermen are compelled to import bait at enormous expense, frequently from the other side of the world.
For testing, the researcher used a microalga known as spirulina. The lobster was attracted to the mackerel and ate it before eating a few pieces of microalgae. Researchers are still quite impressed with a preliminary test.
Seal meat is recommended by the Association des chasseurs de phoque des Îles-de-la-Madeleine. However, its members are concerned that the United States policy of conserving marine mammals is becoming an impediment to its utilization.
According to Jérôme Laurent, an industrial researcher at Merinov and head of the Center of Expertise in Fisheries Technology, any bait alternative must satisfy certain criteria. It must be just as effective as traditional bait. It must also be manufactured at the same or lower cost.