Dalhousie's innovation wins again: lobster trap device named one of top 10 inventions of the year by Popular Science magazine
Dalhousie's Innovation and Design lab (iDLab), in partnership with Clare Machine Works Ltd., has developed a unique device called the Bait Savour. The invention was designed to solve a problem faced by lobster fishermen: how to keep from having to make frequent trips out on the ocean to re-bait their traps. Popular Science magazine has named the Bait Savour one of the top 10 inventions of the year, and it’s already won a $100,000 innovation prize from Innovacorp.
Generally, traps at sea have to be re-baited every two or three days, a process that can cost fishermen upwards of $700 in fuel per trip, plus crew wages. Their boats are also emitting greenhouse gases as they reset the traps. If inclement weather strikes, the traps may be bait-free for several days, catching no lobster at all.
The Bait Savour is a biological fuse, a strip of recycled fish parts that biodegrades in salt water, causing no harm to either the environment or the bait. After a couple of days, it simply dissolves, and the attached plastic box releases a second piece of bait. This means the trap can stay in the water, without being picked up and re-baited, for more than double the length of time.
The Bait Savour is expected to hit the market later this year, with fuses that can last upwards of 80 hours. With more than 3 million lobster traps in Atlantic Canada alone, the potential market is huge. At a cost in the $50 range, it poses to be a huge cost savings to those who make their living by lobster.
"I have many customers that are lobster fishermen, and I heard their problem: the traps remaining without bait for a long period of time, especially in the winter. But when I heard this pain of theirs, I also heard an opportunity to try and solve it." -- Vince Stuart, Owner, Clare Machine Works Ltd.
"It's about stimulating the economy. I look at the iDLab as a way to extend the university into commercial industry, identifying problems that local industry partners have and working with those companies to find solutions." -- Matt d'Entremont, Director, iDLab
"There are lots of complicated ways to do anything, and anything can be done if you throw money at it, but you have to do it in a way that solves the problem and where the value equation works. We've made this at a cost and efficiency where it works for fishermen."-- Matt d'Entremont, Director, iDLab
- No de-bait about it: Dalhousie project named one of the year's top 10 inventions
- Innovation and Design Lab (iDLab)
- Faculty of Engineering
- Nikki Comeau, Communications Officer, Communications and Marketing, 902.494.4189, firstname.lastname@example.org