• Crustacean Transport

    Crustacean Transport

    Reducing Transport Stress Improves Quality

Crustacean Transport

AQUI-S® improves the welfare and quality of lobster and other crustaceans when used at any stage of the live transport process. Crustaceans such as lobster and crabs are typically wild-caught in pots or nets, then live-stored in holding tanks for several days before being graded, packed in waterless shippers and air-freighted to their final destination. All stages of this process are stressful for the animals and can result in limb loss, mortalities and severely weakened animals.  The end result is reduced quality at the market and reduced market value.

lobster

Industry Reported Benefits - AQUI-S®

  • Improved survival during transfers and post-transfer
  • Faster pack-outs with reduced labour costs
  • Reduced limb loss post-transport
  • Reduced overheads due to reduced use of chilled water
  • Extended transfers through reduced metabolic activity allowing access to otherwise untapped and potentially more lucrative markets.
  • Better survival post-transfer
  • Reduced cannibalistic nature, especially in some crab species

AQUI-S® sedated crustacea are easier to pack, meaning less force is required thus reducing the likelihood of limb loss and other damage to the animals. There is also a reduction in packing time, reduced requirement for chilling and improved packing efficiency allowing packing of more animals per transport unit.

What Does AQUI-S® Sedation Look Like?

Crustaceans are immersed in AQUI-S® dosed water for a few minutes, after which time they are essentially asleep. In lobster, animals will have lost the reflexive tail curl but still retain some turgor. In crabs, limb movement is significantly reduced but not entirely absent. At this point, grading and packing operations can commence.

The following video shows the difference in activity between an AQUI-S® sedated lobster and an un-sedated lobster.

 

AQUI S Efficacy

Lobster Comparison (AQUI-S® Sedated V's Un-sedated)

 

Is Using AQUI-S® Better Than Chilling?

Traditionally, lobster and crab are chilled prior to packing to reduce their activity and make them easier to handle. Some believe chilling also slows the metabolism; however, this is not strictly true. Whilst the heart rate is initially decreased as a result of reduced body temperature, in the hours following the heart rate of a chilled lobster will actually increase to levels above the baseline. Chilling also provides no analgesic effects, nor does it reduce the stress response. It is possible to combine AQUI-S® sedation with the chilling, however, this is not always needed.
AQUI-S® sedated crustaceans are essentially 'asleep' when being packed and during the first part of the transfer. This means they are less stressed and conserve their energy, improving their condition and survivability post-transfer, which  opens the door to extend the transport duration and possibly allows access to more lucrative markets that are otherwise out of reach. Electricity costs can also be saved as less severe water chilling regimes are used in conjunction with AQUI-S® sedation.

How Can I Incorporate AQUI-S® into My Operation?

Depending on the facility set-up, AQUI-S® sedation can be incorporated into the existing chiller bath with or without the chiller unit switched on. A typical AQUI-S® dose to sedate lobster prior to packing is ~30 ppm for ~10 minutes.

Sedated

Sedated

Unsedated

Unsedated

What Next?

We recommend you conduct a small trial to determine the appropriate AQUI-S® concentration for your animals. A trial protocol is available in our member's section.  If you require more information or have a specific question you can contact us or your local distributor directly.

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