Descriptive statistics of fishing practices, ...

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Title Descriptive statistics of fishing practices, postharvest health status, and transport conditions in the Prince Edward Island lobster (Homarus americanus) industry
Author(s) J. Lavallee, K. Larry Hammell, Elizabeth Spangler, Richard J. Cawthorn, Ian R. Dohoo
Journal Journal of Shellfish Research
Date 2000
Volume 19
Issue 1
Start page 265
End page 274
Abstract This study describes and compares lobster fishing and handling practices on various boats, transportation conditions between fishing wharfs and processing plants, and health assessments of lobsters followed from the time of harvest to the time of arrival at the processing plants during the spring and fall fishing seasons of Prince Edward Island, Canada. A total of 2,191 lobsters landed from 64 boats in 1997 were tagged and included in the study. Over 20 fishing and transport-level factors were monitored, and more than 10 lobster-level factors were assessed on market-sized lobsters. A significant increase (P < 0.05) of 7.1% in the proportion of lobsters with open wounds from the time of harvest to the time of entry in the processing plant was found during the spring season; whereas, the proportion of lobsters with vigor loss significantly increased by 2.5% (P < 0.05) during the same interval. Total hemocyte counts (THC) and hemolymph total protein (TP) levels were significantly higher in the spring than in the fall (P < 0.001). THC and TP also increased significantly (P < 0.05) from the time of harvest to the time of arrival at the processing plants, a period in which the lobsters were held out of the water. The prevalence of Aeroccocus viridans infected lobsters was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in the fall season (10.4%) than in the spring season (5.5%). Lobster catches experienced significantly warmer, windier, and sunnier conditions in the fall season (P < 0.05). Mackerel was the bait most commonly used during both seasons, and gaspereaux were only used during the fall season. In the spring season, lobsters of different sizes were prevented from having mutual contact on more than 63% of the boats, but only on 18% of the boats in the fall season. Most spring fishers (83.1%) added water to the live-tank after all the traps were hauled, as compared to a majority of fall fishers (72.7%), who had no water in the live-tank at any time (P < 0.001). Finally, lobsters spent, on average, significantly (P < 0.001) more time on board fishing vessels in the fall than in the spring season.
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