Fisheries Research Articles

Health management during handling and live transport of crustaceans: A review

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Invertebrate Pathology




range extension, climate change, ocean warming


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


Best practice approaches used in the live transport of commercial crustacean species groups are reviewed and the physiological responses to handling practices are described. Codes of practice aimed at providing technological guidelines in handling and transportation of live prawns, lobsters, crabs and freshwater crayfish are examined. While some handling and transport practices are common across species groups, for example purging and chilling, recommended practices vary with species group. The influence of stress responses on health and survival during live transport is discussed and research investigations on the effect of stressors, in particular air exposure, handling and physical disturbances and temperature fluctuations on physiological processes are reviewed for the six species groups, crabs, freshwater crayfish, clawed and spiny lobsters, freshwater prawns and marine prawns. Investigations on the assessment of immune responses to live transport stressors using haemograms, clotting times, phenoloxidase activity, phagocytic activity, bacteremia and antibacterial activity and haemolymph protein concentration are described. A combination of physiological parameters is desirable in the assessment of stress response or health status in crustacean species transported live to seafood markets.



Digital Object Identifier (DOI)