Irish fisheries for whelk (Buccinum undatum) are currently in a time of flux due to increased costs of frozen bait and pressures on high value bait species such as brown crab. This collaboration between the MFRC, BIM, Nofima (Norway) and the Irish fishing industry aims to develop alternative sustainable baits for whelk.
The team are examining fish and shellfish processing waste streams to identify potential bait components for attracting whelk while also valorising the waste products themselves. Live holding experiments will test prototype baits for their attractiveness to whelk. The project will deliver standard operating procedures for future manufacturing and testing of candidate baits on-board commercial fishing vessels. The research is funded through a tender from BIM (RFT 195131) and runs from 2021-2023.