Effects of selected post harvest processes on brown crab (Cancerpagurus L.) and European lobster (Homarus gammarus L.) from Irish Crustacean Fisheries
The crustacean fishery is important to the socio economics of rural and island communities around Ireland; with brown crab (Cancer pagurus) and European lobster (.Homarus gammarus) being the most valuable shellfish species. Brown crab and lobster are marketed live with the majority being exported from Ireland to southern Europe. Post capture processes used in Ireland are very subjective but promote fresh, live products. Common practices used in the crustacean fishery include nicking of brown crab and long term storage of lobster. This study showed that nicking resulted in elevated mean lactate levels of 17.90% (StDev ± 1.74) and elevated mean glucose levels of 120.55 % (StDev ± 0.26) with mean circulating bacteria levels 9 times greater in nicked crab. Nicking resulted in 96.3% increase in tissue necrosis and a subsequent reduction in product quality. These factors possibly compromise the host’s defense system, which may ultimately reduce the animal’s ability to cope with additional stressors caused by post-harvest processes. Long term storage allows lobster to be stored until the market is less saturated and prices are higher. This investigation found that some lobsters contracted bacterial biofilms as a result of long term storage. Bacteria isolated from biofilms were identified as Arcobacter and Campylobacterales with identity and alignment scores of 80% andd 88% respectively.
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