January 24, 2022

A small Caribbean island inspires a global innovation

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organbait-750xx4272-2403-0-223THE VALLEY, ANGUILLA–(Marketwired – August 11, 2016) – A globally significant innovation is quietly taking place on the island of Anguilla, British Caribbean. Perhaps best-known for her beautiful beaches, celebrity sightings and as the stunning backdrop for the network television series Coupled, this Caribbean island has also inspired an innovation that promises to benefit the environment, as well as mankind and wildlife on a global scale.

The invention is a synthetic, alternative bait to avert the consumption of billions of pounds of wild fish used in commercial traps merely to catch crabs and lobsters, worldwide. The idea was conceived by the lead inventor and Anguillian resident, Terry Brady, while walking on one of those stunning beaches and considering how lobster are caught to support the island’s award-winning chefs. Brady’s boat, Bateau Godot, has now been designated a research vessel, to focus attention on scientific research and a completely new approach to lobster and crayfish bait — along with a large grant to help map and understand Anguilla’s territorial waters, which are teeming with abundant fish stocks and marine life.

Much attention has long been focused on saving the large ocean dwelling mammals — whales, polar bears, seals, etc. The plight of forage fish, also known as bait fish — menhaden, anchovies, sardines — has been largely overlooked, despite the essential role they play in the food chain. Second only to the importance and biomass of plankton, forage fish provide the sole food source for many other fish, mammals, and birds in every region of the world.

Industrial net fishing for 35 million metric tons of forage fish per annum supplies commercial production in numerous sectors, including: agricultural additives; pig and chicken feed; pet food; fish farming (aquaculture); and Omega 3 vitamin supplements. Another 18 million tons of forage fish annually are used to bait crab and lobster pots in the $66 billion dollar crustacean fishing industry.

The invention of OrganoBaitâ„¢, imagined here in Anguilla, is designed to replace the use of wild fish stocks with a synthetic and environmentally neutral alternative as the primary bait in commercial lobster and crab traps. This timely innovation promises to make a significant difference at the heart of the food chain, with the potential of conserving the 18 million tons of forage fish, or about 40% of the total industrial fishing demand, currently consumed by the lobster and crab fishing industry. Allowing billions of wild fish to replenish their stocks, providing sustenance for other fish, seabirds, marine and shore-dwelling mammals, will positively impact these dependent species that collectively require approximately half of the world’s annual consumption of forage fish for survival each year.

Brady knew that further research would be necessary and partnered with a prior industry colleague to found Kepley BioSystems, an academically inspired startup emerging from the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and a collaborative graduate program from (UNC & AT) in Greensboro, NC. The team and the invention have been awarded SBIR Phase I, IB and Phase II National Science Foundation research grants under the auspices of that prestigious US Government agency that sponsors fundamental research.

Kepley BioSystems has also been shortlisted as a Top 500 Startup finalist in the global 2016 Hello Tomorrow Challenge; Hello Tomorrow is the world’s leading nonprofit aiming to accelerate science and technology entrepreneurship. Kepley BioSystems ranked in the top ten of Food and Agriculture startups in North and Central America.

To learn more about this specific invention, visit: KepleyBioSystems.com. And, to find your next inspiration from a walk on the beach, go to: www.ivisitanguilla.com

About Anguilla

Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla is a shy beauty with a warm smile. A slender length of coral and limestone fringed with green, the island is ringed with 33 beaches, considered by savvy travelers and top travel magazines, to be the most beautiful in the world. Anguilla lies just off the beaten path, so it has retained a charming character and appeal. Yet because it can be conveniently reached from two major gateways: St Martin and Puerto Rico, and by private air, it’s a hop and a skip away.

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