At Polybait, we develop sustainable baits for angling and commercial fisheries under the brand Kvalvik Bait. We are located in Tromsø, Norway, which has a world leading research community within fisheries and marine biotechnology. Being located on the Northern Norwegian coastline, we are also close to some of the best fishing grounds in the world. Kvalvik Bait was invented by founder and CEO of Polybait, Svein Kvalvik. Svein has his roots in Kvalvika, Lofoten where his family has engaged in fisheries for generations. It was Svein’s passion for fishing that began the process of creating a truly eco-friendly and effective fishing bait. He had an idea to create a bait with highly concentrated odors and taste to attract various fish species. Thus, research and product development of Kvalvik Bait began in earnest with the co-operation of leading Norwegian research institutions.
About Kvalvik Bait
Kvalvik Bait is based on natural ingredients that substitutes fish as bait, and is an environmentally and ethically sound alternative to live bait. The active agents in Kvalvik Bait are amino acids that are often referred to as the body’s building blocks, which form the basis of smell and taste in our baits. The production process uses natural raw marine materials that has a smell and taste that fish are familiar with. We make Kvalvik Bait in two different forms; a bait cream for anglers, and a gel chunk that imitates fish meat for the commercial fishing fleets. The same active amino acids are used in both forms depending on what fish species it is tailored for.
Polybait AS’ main objective is to develop a sustainable artificial bait that would replace the use of traditional bait like herring or squid within the commercial long-line fisheries. We believe that there is something fundamentally wrong about using food to catch food, and the need for a sustainable alternative is evident in several ways. This project was started in 2011 with support funding from The Norwegian Research Council, MABIT, and Innovation Norway. The project commenced in collaboration with our research partners at Nofima and SINTEF. Nofima, which is one of Europe’s largest institutions within food, aquaculture and fisheries research, conducted feeding stimulants studies at Tromsø Aquaculture Research Station. During these studies, specific fish species’ behavior where recorded and analyzed after being exposed to different odors consisting of amino acids. With the conclusion of these studies, we had learned the ideal amino mixture to attract cod, halibut, and salmon/trout respectively. SINTEF was then involved in developing a non-toxic and biodegradable polymer that acted as the physical matrix for the attractant solution. This artificial bait, which is intended for commercial long-lining vessels, is at its final stages of development, and is currently undergoing comprehensive test fishing off the Northern Norwegian shore. Unlike the bait creams that are developed for angling, this bait is a substance that is intended to be physically baited on a hook.
Cost/Benefit and properties of Kvalvik Bait for long lining:
- Equally- or more effective than traditional bait
- Made from marine by-products that would otherwise be discarded
- Long shelf life, easier storage and distribution – no need for freezing or cooling
- Low volume and weight – about 20% of traditional bait
- Tailored for specific fish species – enables selective fishing
- More cost-efficient than traditional baits
During the course of the research and development process, it was decided to launch a technological spin-off product from the above-mentioned main project, aimed at angling. We applied the research from the feeding stimulants studies in the development of a bait cream that could be applied to any surfaces and thus be used on any type of fishing tackle. Again, SINTEF was involved in the development of the cream, which contains a non-toxic and biodegradable adhesive that ensures gradual release of attractant and a prolonged effect. The feeding stimulants studies conducted by Nofima enabled us to develop three different products tailored for attracting cod, halibut, and salmon/trout. Because of this research, the Kvalvik Bait cream is the only bait product for angling in the world that has a scientific documentation of its effect.