Rock Lobster Post-Harvest Subprogram: physiological studies of stress and morbidity during post-harvest handling and storage of western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries EcoScience Precinct
1. Identify key physiological stress parameters that either describe stress levels and/or predict likely further mortality in lobsters after harvest and apply these parameters in studies aimed at improving post-harvest handling practises. This overall objective will be achieved by...
2. (Sub-objective 1) Obtaining baseline measurements of physiological parameters in resting undisturbed lobsters, with reference to interactions between season and locality and the effects of moult stage and other biological variables
3. (Sub-objective 2) Identifying physiological parameters, through field studies aimed at studying the effect of harvest and post-harvest handling on lobsters, which can be used to evaluate deviations from baseline values (stress responses) in captive lobsters.
4. (Sub-objective 3) Identifying physiological parameters, through controlled laboratory experiments using identified stressors (from 3. above) which can be used to evaluate deviations from baseline values (stress responses) in captive lobsters.
5. (Sub-objective 4) Develop simple methods of measuring one or more of the stress parameters identified in sub-objectives 2 and 3 for use in lobster processing factories in the evalutation of stress levels in selected lobster shipments
6. (Sub-objective 5) Apply the results and understanding of harvesting and post-harvest handling gained from field work in sub-objective 2, and the stress parameters identified in sub-objectives 2 and 3 in a study or studies of lobster postharvest handling practices aimed at developing improved post-harvest procedures
7. (Sub-objective 6) Use the findings of earlier sub-objectives to make recommendations for improvements in handling practices described in the recently published code of practice.
8. (Sub-objective 7) Use the findings to develop detailed knowledge and understanding of the physiological processes involved in stress responses in lobsters which can be used by processing companies and fishers to devise improved methods of post-harvest handling and transport.
Principal Investigator: B.D. Paterson, G.W. Davidson and P.T. Spanoghe