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Decapod crustaceans destined for the food industry are either caught from the wild or ‘harvested’ on farms. Capture methods vary greatly depending on species and scale, but all have the potential to compromise welfare, including shifts in barometric pressure, physical trauma, injury and crushing, exhaustion and death [1]. 

Once on deck, wild-caught decapod crustaceans are exposed to stressors such as air, light, fluctuating temperature and noise, as well as handling as they are removed from nets or pots and high stocking densities as they are closely confined together. 

Such stressors can result in poor welfare due to the restriction of natural behaviours, wounds and infections, aggression, or mutilations such as claw banding or nicking. Research shows that lobsters, shrimps, crabs, and nephrops can be affected by these stressors for several days post-capture [2]. 

[1]  Crustacean Compassion (2023). Sea-to-Plate: The Welfare Journey of Decapod Crustaceans.

[2]  Basti, D., Bricknell, I., Hoyt, K., Change, E.S., Halteman, W., & Bouchard, D. (2010). Factors Affecting Post-Capture Survivability of Lobster Homarus Americanus.

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