Chilled mist as a viable alternative method for transporting commercially caught crustacean and mollusc species

Cherry, Kelan

Biological sciences
September 2019

Thesis or dissertation

© 2019 Kelan Cherry. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Shellfish are often transported live to markets to ensure freshness upon arrival. Traditional transport methods involve large volumes of water (1:1 animal:water, vivier) hence reducing the mass of animals that can be transported with one journey, or they are transported dry, with both methods often inducing high stress levels. To assess the viability of an alternative method, the physiological stress of three commercially important species (Buccinum undatum, Nephrops norvegicus, and Homarus gammarus) was measured over time (24h – N. norvegicus, 72h – H. gammarus, and 96h – B. undatum) within an experimental re-circulating intermittent (IM) and continuous (CM) mist environment. Haemolymph stress parameters such as L-lactate, ammonia, D- glucose, total protein, pH, and behaviour were measured every 24h to determine the condition of the animals. The responses of animals in the misted environments were compared to the traditional method of transport for each species: vivier or dry. The mist was effective at reducing levels of haemolymph ammonia in the animals compared to simulated dry transport (3 and 2.4 fold lower ammonia concentration in B. undatum and H. gammarus haemolymph; at 96 hours and 72 hours; respectively). The IM group had 8.8 times lower ammonia concentration in the reservoir water compared to the CM group at 96 hours for the B. undatum trials, suggesting that IM may be a more efficient use of water for longer journeys. In its current form, misting is not suitable for the transport of N. norvegicus, as high mortalities were recorded in both IM – 30%, CM – 10%, compared to traditional vivier – 0%, however IM reduced mortality rates compared to traditional dry transport of B. undatum (IM - 5.25%, CM – 28.07%, dry - 22.8%). The efficacy of Accutrend handheld meter for L-lactate determination in decapod crustaceans is discussed in detail within this study. This study offers a novel, easily implemented method of transport with potential for replacing traditional methods, whilst maintaining animal health. This study can be used by fishers as a base for developing more efficient, cost-effective methods of live shellfish transport.

Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Hull
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