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Stress response according to transport protocol in Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus

Journal article
Authors Adam Powell
Daniel Cowing
Susanne P. Eriksson
Magnus Johnson
Published in Crustacean Research
Volume 46
Pages 17-24
ISSN 0287-3478
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Kristineberg
Pages 17-24
Language en
Keywords serum, THC, glucose, ammonium, lactate
Subject categories Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries, Biological Sciences


The Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus, is a valuable and commonly exported European decapod crustacean, which experiences stress from point of capture and onward transport. Stressors such as air exposure duration (i.e. emersion period) and air temperature have been studied previously. We investigated whether mortality could be reduced by decreasing road vibrations during transport, and how physiological stress measurements were influenced in a transport simulation experiment, reflecting a typical short road journey along a supply chain. Baseline haemolymph samples were taken from lobsters sampled immediately after commercial capture using static traps (lobster pots). Individuals were emersed for one hour, either immobile or with continuous shaking; the latter to simulate conditions occurring during transport. Both treatments significantly increased Total Haemocyte Counts (THC) and serum glucose, lactate and ammonium concentrations compared to baseline animals. Individuals subjected to continuous shaking showed higher glucose and ammonium concentrations compared to individuals maintained immobile. We conclude that shaking appears to influence the physiological responses of N. norvegicus in addition to the effects of emersion alone, and the reduction of road vibrations (e.g. via simple cushioning) can reduce post-transport mortality.

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