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September 29, 2014

United States

Maine—Lobster Shells Repel Soil Pests



Every year the shells from millions of pounds of lobster processed in Maine head for landfills and compost.  Dr. Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine and the founding partner of Lobster Unlimited wants to turn that waste into an organic soil amendment the repels plant pests, like nematodes, wormlike creatures that attack plants.


Researchers at the University of Florida Extension Service are testing the concept.  If it succeeds, the group estimates it could pay processors up to $100 per ton for lobster shells and generate about $50,000 in revenues for them, above and beyond anything they’d save in shell removal costs.


The group is also looking into potential cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses for the hemolyph—lobster blood—which is currently thrown away.


In 2011, Bayer worked with University of Maine scientist David Neivandt to develop a biodegradable golf ball made from lobster shells.   A patent is pending on the product, and they’re still trying to identify the right company to help launch it, said Kris Burton, University of Maine’s director of technology commercialization.


Information: Robert C. Bayer, Ph.D.  Executive Director, Lobster Institute, 210 Rogers Hall, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5763, USA (phone 207-581-2785, fax 207-581-2744, email, webpage


Source:  Portland Press Herald.  Maine Group Aims to Turn Lobster Shells into Pest Repellent.  Jennifer Van Allen (phone 1-207-791-6313, email  September 28, 2014.

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