This project is for a research study into the extraction of hemocyanin from the Slipper Limpet and comparing it against existing hemocyanins used in pharma products. Also the development of a plan for Slipper Limpet extraction and handling for fishermen who catch the limpet as a by-catch.
Mikota will collaborate, for this project and on an ongoing basis, with local stakeholders, fisheries and fishermen to mitigate the negative impact that Slipper Limpets have had on Oyster and Scallop divers as well as SAC’s (Special Areas of Conservation). The plan is to also develop a basic harvesting and handling protocol and methodology for local divers and fishermen to use when they harvest slipper limpets as a by-catch product.
In conclusion this project showed that it is feasible for hemocyanin to be extracted from slipper limpets, but it also identified some significant constraints imposed by third parties and government organisations in the guise of regulatory oversight, for this type of project in Wales.
Slipper limpet hemocyanin was identified as having significant commercial and market opportunities, and that the harvesting of slipper limpets to produce the hemocyanin was of environmental benefit to any region that the activity was undertaken.
” The commercial opportunity for slipper limpet hemocyanin requires significant research and investment to realise, and this research study and the data generated lays the early foundations for this work.
This study also found that the endemic behaviour of groups like NRW would be detrimental to any company planning to undertake long term and beneficial activities targeting slipper limpets in Wales. Also, the lack of financial support and targeted actions has significantly accelerated the negative effects of the slipper limpet population in the Milford Haven Waterway, with nearly all native oyster beds being completely decimated. This ongoing lack of targeted support would also make companies reluctant to invest time and money if there was no backing and support for commercial or clean-up activities.