What is OrganoBait?

OrganoBait is the name of the bait product being developed by Kepley BioSystems, which is an entirely synthetic and sustainable material that can effectively mimic the attractant properties of “forage” fish for use as an environmentally neutral crustacean fishing bait.

Why is an alternative crustacean bait so important?

The global supply of forage fish is rapidly decreasing due to competition from several industries, including aquaculture, barnyard and domestic animal food, Omega-3 supplements, and crustacean fishers; the latter of which are estimated to account for at least a third of commercial consumption. The declining supply and increased demand have driven up costs, affecting both commercial and recreational fishing viability. Beyond the impact on prospective customers, pressures on the global forage fish supply are intensifying derivative risks for sea bird, pelagic fish,and mammal populations, from whales to polar bears, to seals and walruses, all of which currently require at least half the annual global supply for survival. Crustacean fishing is a $66 billion global market that consumes over 18 million metric tons of bait fish for these traps at a cost of an estimated $20 billion per year.

How does OrganoBait work?

OrganoBait replicates the biochemistry of decaying fish that characterizes odorant-based attractant mechanism for crustaceans; this enables the product to attract lobsters and crabs as an sustainable alternative bait. Crustacean olfaction relies on groups of olfactory receptor neurons arranged in clusters and housed in cuticular extensions called aesthetascs found on two, paired antennae. It has been previously shown that the magnitude of stimulation of these neurons in response to stimuli is indicative of the attractive or repulsive nature of the stimulus.

The product is being designed for compatibility with established fishing practices, with early test results promising success as a “drop-in” product. The final product will resemble and function much as current forage fish baiting while offering many advantages.

How is OrganoBait made?

Despite its development name, neither the OrganoBait dissolvable matrix or chemical molecules use any animal or plant by-products (such decaying fish, pig feet, or other organic protein sources typically used by the crustacean fishing industry today). All of the components used to manufacture OrganoBait are distinct inorganic chemistry materials available through well-defined supply chains worldwide.
The global supply chains were a critical decision in the attractant selection process. The constant availability will allow Kepley BioSystems to ensure OrganoBait is accessible during peak seasons, unlike some traditional baits.

OrganoBait Features

OrganoBait was specifically designed with the needs of the industry in mind. As stocks of forage fish fluctuate, fishermen are finding spikes in bait pricing and availability, increasingly with no stocks available to them at all. Due to its synthetic matrix, OrganoBait is not dependent on these natural sources, instead utilizing well-defined food-grade supplies that can be easily obtained, maintaining product availability and a steady price-point. The OrganoBait synthetic matrix also allows the product to be specifically tuned to different environments and soak times accommodating the needs of different fisheries worldwide, while remaining easy-to-use and compatible with existing trap methodologies. The patent-pending chemo-attractants contained in OrganoBait release at 325 times the potency of rotting bait fish flesh and will continually release as the product dissolves. Finally, OrganoBait is an ecology friendly product, composed of attractants that are naturally occurring into the oceanic ecosystem, while reducing the mounting pressures on forage fish stocks.

Want to see OrganoBait at work?

Our "lab assistant" Cammie Hobbs would love nothing more than to show you how to use OrganoBait. Follow her to her page to see a video of OrganoBait in action.