The New Way to Bait Conch and Eel Pots
LaMonica Fine Foods is proud to introduce Eco-Bait to the pot fishing community. Inspired by the research of Dr. Nancy Targett of the University of Delaware, LaMonica Fine Foods undertook the challenge to adapt Dr. Targett's research to provide a sustainable, commercially available option to the fisheries.
With female horseshoe crabs proving to be the best bait for conch and eel fisheries, a solution was required to reduce the independence on horseshoe crabs within the industry in an attempt to restore and maintain the horseshoe crab population. Utilizing Dr. Targett's five years of research, formula modifications were tested in the lab and in the wild by conch fisherman. The final result, Eco-Bait proved to be a major breakthrough for the pot fisherman as well as the environment, working as effectively, if not better, than its predecessor.
Eco-Bait works because the bait is made with horseshoe crabs but its unique design makes more efficient use of the crabs. Ground up crabs are evenly dispersed within a gelatinous but firm media that time releases the attractants throughout the potting period. The quantity of horseshoe crab, per pot, is dramatically reduced but the attractant in the crab is more available to the conch or eels and remains at a constant level thereby increasing efficiency and maximizing the use of the crab. Eco-Bait is 15 times more efficient than traditional bait, thus reducing the number of horseshoe crabs needed industry-wide. The addition of surf clam bellies, as engineered by LaMonica Fine Foods into the bait which is widely known as an effective attractant on its own.
Furthermore, the bait is adaptable. It can be modified to accommodate the needs of other fisheries and can even be tailored to meet the challenges of regional differences in fisheries. Eco-Bait is made in slabs and is packed in a folding waxed cardboard box. The slab is equivalent to fifty baits but the end user can decide to use less or more per pot. The bait requires refrigeration. If the bait is frozen, noticeable changes will occur including weeping. It is unclear at this point what effect freezing has on the function of the bait.
Eco-Bait, short for Ecology-Bait, is a major accomplishment in the effort to preserve horseshoe crabs and is a sterling example of science and industry working together to produce results that benefit everyone. Note that Eco-Bait is 100% natural, biodegradable and “green”.
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