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More than 420 million decapod crustaceans are landed by UK vessels into UK ports every year with a further 5 billion imported from overseas, requiring an enormous amount of transport as animals progress through the supply chain. Transport varies by sea, air and land, and can last for several days, subjecting these animals to stressful and inappropriate conditions.

Potential stressors are significant, including poor water quality and inappropriate temperatures, lack of shelter and proximity to others (either of the same or differing species), and handling, as well as the vibration and noise of vehicles [1]. Such disturbance causes suffering and results in extremely high levels of mortality both in transit [2-4] and once they reach their destination [2, 5, 6]. 

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

[2]  Barrento, S., Marques, A., Vaz-Pires, P., & Nunes, M.L. (2010). Live Shipment of Immersed Crabs Cancer Pagurus from England to Portugal and Recovery in Stocking Tanks: Stress Parameter Characterization.

[3] Barrento, S., Marques, A., Vaz-Pires, P. & Nunes, M.L. (2012). Physiological Changes during Simulated Live Transport of Cancer Pagurus and Recovery in Holding Tanks.

[4] Lu, Y., Wang, F., & Dong. S. (2015). Energy Response of Swimming Crab Portunus Trituberculatus to Thermal Varation: Implication for Crab Transport Method.

[5] Barrento, S., Marques, A., Pedro, S., Vaz-Pires, P. & Nunes, M.L. (2008). The Trade of Live Crustaceans in Portugal: Space for Technological Improvements.

[6] Uglow, R.F., Hosie, D.A., Johnson, I.T., & Macmullen, P.H. (1986). Live handling and transport of crustacean shellfish: An investigation or mortalities.

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