Live crustaceans, especially lobsters, crabs and shrimp, fetch premium prices in many international seafood markets, especially in parts of Asia. To access these market opportunities, live crustaceans frequently need to be transported over long distances, which can involve pro-longed air exposure resulting in elevated stress and increased morbidity and mortality. Interventions which deliver metabolic suppression to live crustaceans during their transport have the potential to improve outcomes from live shipping. In this study the administration of adenosine (Ado) and L-theanine (L-th) were assessed for metabolic suppression in the New Zealand scampi, (Metanephrops challengeri), a deep sea lobster which is highly prized as seafood, and with excellent prospects for supply into premium live seafood markets. The administration to scampi of Ado and L-th in isolation or as a mixture (Ado/L-th), caused a significant decrease in heart rate (HR) with a lasting effect for the 4 hour experimental period. However, this depression of HR did not translate into a systemic downregulation of metabolism, as measured by the key metabolites, i.e., glycogen utilization and the accumulation of lactate and ammonia. The lack of systematic metabolic downregulation would preclude the potential use of Ado and L-th for commercial application in live shipping of crustaceans.
Research Hub Investigator(s)
Willis, J.R., Jeffs, A., Heasman, K. and Hickey, A., Assessing the Potential of Adenosine and L-Theanine as Metabolic Suppressants for Improving Shipping of the New Zealand Scampi (Metanephrops Challengeri). Available at SSRN 4455460.
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