The ragworm, (Nereis virens – also known as 'sandworm' or 'clamworm'), is a free-living marine polychaete found on the Atlantic shores of North America and Northern Europe.
It is used as a fishing bait by millions of sea anglers fishing from the shore or from small boats and is effective for a very wide variety of sea and estuarine fish. It is also an effective bait for many types of coarse fishing.
The ragworm feeds by scavenging and will eat live or dead organic matter of animal or plant origin. Worms grow to over one metre in length but are more commonly used as bait at a much smaller size.
A mature female ragworm can contain more than one million eggs.
In the wild, ragworms breed just once a year. At Shoreline Polychaete Farms they breed once a week.
In 2007, the farm produced over 150 million ragworm larvae.