July 16, 2010
SHIPPAGAN (CNB) - The provincial government is investing in the company Organik Touch, of Beresford, to help them produce a new, biodegradable bait for lobster fishing.
Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet made the announcement during Fisheries and Aquaculture Day in Shippagan, along with Marc Landry, president, Organik Touch.
"Our government recognizes the importance of investing in innovation and in research to ensure a sustainable, economically viable and self-sufficient fisheries sector," said Doucet. "This project in particular will mitigate the fishery's impact on the environment, which is a fundamental objective of fisheries management in New Brunswick."
The research project is designed to gauge the appeal and the effectiveness at sea of an experimental processed bait. The basic components of the bait come from waste from marine products processing plants. The bait was tested in with traditional bait this fishing season. Next, it will then be tested in tanks and in a controlled environment for dissolution measurements at the aquaculture pavilion of the Coastal Zones Research Institute.
"Lobster fisheries are very dependent on the harvesting of fish, mainly herring, as bait to attract the lobster to the cages," Landry said. "The provincial government's assistance will enable us to perfect this new product in dried form, which would offer advantages in terms of storage and availability and which could replace traditional bait, primarily herring."
More than 800 million pounds of herring are used as bait in the United States and Canada. Lobster harvesters are subject to the variables associated with the herring fishery, such as price fluctuations and supply.
The research project is delivered by the Coastal Zones Research Institute, on behalf of Organik Touch. The research is being carried out in co-operation with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans in Moncton; and three Acadian Peninsula lobster fishermen: Bruno Roussel (Le Goulet), Donald Ward (Miscou), and Régis Larocque (Pigeon Hill).
MEDIA CONTACT: Gisèle Regimbal, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-444-4218; Marc Landry, president, Organik Touch, 506-783-7514.