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Crustacean management and handling. Chapter 20

Chapter in book
Authors Adam Powell
Sara Barrento
Daniel Cowing
Published in The Natural History of the Crustacea
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, UK
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Kristineberg
Language en
Subject categories Fishery, Aquaculture


Current production (ca. 14 million metric tonnes) and value (up to $60 billion) for crustaceans is significant and likely to increase further during the 21st century. Satisfactory management and handling of live crustaceans is important to safeguard the value, security, safety, and sustainability of wild-caught and aquaculture-sourced fisheries, and increasingly to foster improved welfare and public perception of both industries. Decapod crustaceans are frequently transported live and internationally over long distances, and experience anthropogenic stressors from point of capture to point of sale. Physical handling, emersion in air, and temperature fluctuations are key examples of stressors, which elicit progressive behavioral, physiological and immunological stress responses in crustaceans. Stress responses are initiated to return the individual to a state of homeostasis; if these fail, then physiological collapse, a loss of vitality and death will likely occur. There are several ways to mitigate against the impact of stressors, reduce associated stress responses, and thus maintain quantity (survival, weight) and quality (vitality, sensorial perception) of live crustaceans. These include improved fishing techniques, better handling and operating procedures, and the introduction of proven equipment and facilities during the supply chain. The action of stressors and effectiveness of potential mitigating strategies have been studied intensively via behavioral analysis, and hemolymph sampling to ascertain changes in metabolites and the immune system. Finally, improved handling and management includes global and ethical considerations, supported by relevant research, which may be achieved by adopting best practices and standards and by ensuring welfare and disease regulations.

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