Norbait Trials in the Canadian Longline Haddock Fishery on Georges Bank to Reduce By-Catch of Atlantic Cod
Reducing fish waste is a primary goal in fisheries management today. This includes efforts to reduce bait fisheries and other removals not intended for human consumption. The Norwegian Company Norbait DA has developed bait using primarily fish plant waste. This research tested Norbait in the haddock longline fishery on Georges Bank, off southern Nova Scotia. Norbait also has properties to help select for haddock, reducing bycatch of cod. Norbait was tested alongside traditional cut mackerel bait.
Researchers found a slight reduction in haddock catch every 100 hooks with Norbait versus mackerel, but researchers also found a significant reduction in all forms of bycatch with Norbait, including large reductions in cod bycatch. Norbait is a promising alternative to mackerel for the haddock fishery, possibly allowing longer fishing seasons with reduced bycatch concerns. Further research is required to determine the repeatability of these findings in different areas and fishing seasons.