Coldwater lobster health



Title Coldwater lobster health: a North American perspective
Author(s) Richard J. Cawthorn
Journal International Symposium on Lobster Health Management, Adelaide (Australia), September 19-22, 1999, Journal of Shellfish Research
Date 2000
Volume 19
Issue 1
Start page 677
Abstract In North America, one of the largest traditional surviving fisheries involves the coldwater clawed American lobster Homarus americanus. However, post-harvest losses are conservatively estimated at 10-15%, representing an economic impact of $50-75 million annually. The mandate of the Lobster Health Research Centre is to apply the principles of veterinary medicine to the post-harvest sector of crustacean fisheries and to crustacean aquaculture. The primary task is to define what constitutes a healthy lobster, and subsequently to maintain or enhance the health status of lobsters. Important infectious diseases in confinement situations include "bumber car" disease caused by the ciliate Anophryoides haemophila, gaffkemia caused by the bacterium Aerococcus viridans, and shell disease associated with bacterial species of Aeromonas, Pseudomonas and Vibrio. Additional factors reducing lobster health are improper handling, exposure to adverse weather, inappropriate bait, inadequate nutrition and environmental stressors. Lobster health surveillance requires knowledge of ecosystem health, development of lobster databanks, and interaction at all levels of the fishery to enhance lobster health management.

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