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Monitoring and management of paralytic shellfish toxins in Southern Rock Lobster, Tasmania, Australia


Turnbull, A and Seger, A and Mahli, N and Jolley, J and Harwood, T and Dorantes-Aranda, J and Madigan, T and Knowles, G and Revill, H and Fitzgibbon, Q and Hallegraeff, G, Monitoring and management of paralytic shellfish toxins in Southern Rock Lobster, Tasmania, Australia, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Harmful Algae, 10-15 October 2021, La Paz, Mexico, pp. 193-198. (2022) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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DOI: doi:10.5281/zenodo.7035135


The Tasmanian Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii) fishery has been challenged by recurrent dinoflagellate blooms of Alexandrium catenella since 2012. The initial bloom resulted in the first ever closure of an Australian lobster fishery due to marine biotoxins and exposed several key knowledge gaps for managing food safety and market access risk. To fill these gaps, experimental studies were conducted to determine paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) toxicokinetics. Adult male lobsters fed highly toxic mussels (6 mg STX.2HCl eq kg-1) accumulated PST in the hepatopancreas at an exponential rate of 6% per day, reaching a maximum level of 9 mg STX.2HCl eq kg-1 in three weeks. However, lobsters exposed to toxic algae culture suspensions at 2 x 105 cells L-1 did not accumulate any toxin. Neither accumulation of PST nor exposure to toxic cells resulted in any gross impact on the health of lobsters, as assessed by a comprehensive range of behavioural, immune, nutritional and biochemical indicators. Field studies over a period of eight years confirmed the ability of lobster hepatopancreas to rapidly accumulate and depurate toxins in the wild, with a high degree of variability. Analysis of 496 hepatopancreas samples collected during A. catenella blooms identified high risk sites and seasons; demonstrated the usefulness of mussels as sentinel species for indicating PST risk; and enabled quantification of the confidence level associated with current risk management sampling practices. The combined experimental and field results have led to improved risk management for this AUD 97M wild fishery.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:marine biotoxins, lobster, risk assessment, PST, toxin, hepatopancreas, non-traditional vector, toxicokinetics, lobster health, Alexandrium, risk management
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught crustaceans (excl. rock lobster and prawns)
UTAS Author:Turnbull, A (Dr Alison Turnbull)
UTAS Author:Seger, A (Dr Andreas Seger)
UTAS Author:Dorantes-Aranda, J (Dr Juan Dorantes Aranda)
UTAS Author:Fitzgibbon, Q (Associate Professor Quinn Fitzgibbon)
UTAS Author:Hallegraeff, G (Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff)
ID Code:153736
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2022-10-04
Last Modified:2022-11-28

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