Recovery periods of cultured spiny lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi juveniles: Effects of handling, force feeding, exercising to exhaustion and anaesthesia on oxygen consumption and ammonia-N excretion rates
Jensen, M and Fitzgibbon, Q and Carter, CG and Adams, LR, Recovery periods of cultured spiny lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi juveniles: Effects of handling, force feeding, exercising to exhaustion and anaesthesia on oxygen consumption and ammonia-N excretion rates, Aquaculture, 410-411 pp. 114-121. ISSN 0044-8486 (2013) [Refereed Article]
The ability of lobsters to recover from stress is an important factor influencing growth and survival in
aquaculture; however, there is limited information on the metabolic responses of spiny lobsters to stress.
This study determined oxygen consumption rate ( M˙ O2 ) and ammonia-N excretion of juvenile spiny
lobsters Sagmariasus verreauxi in response to handling, anaesthesia, anaesthesia then force feeding, and
exercising to exhaustion in order to determine the recovery time and amount of oxygen required to recover
from common sources of stress in aquaculture. Lobsters required 0.29 ± 0.24 mg O2 g DM−1 over a period of
2.5 ± 1.40 h to recover from handling. Anaesthesia with 2-phenoxyethanol immobilised lobsters but
they required 0.72 ±0.36 mg O2 g DM−1 over a period of 4.5 ± 1.77 h to recover, indicating that
2-phenoxyethanol causes substantial stress. Force feeding lobsters anaesthetised with 2-phenoxyethanol or
clove oil did not result in a higher increase of M˙ O2 compared to 2-phenoxyethanol anaesthesia alone. Recovery
from exercise to exhaustion required 1.84 mg O2 g DM−1 over a period of 10.17 ± 0.70 h. Ammonia-N
excretion, measured 24 h post-treatment, and atomic O:N ratios were not significantly different between
treatments and indicated lobsters in all groups had reached the same level of recovery 24 h post-treatment.
Overall, the study demonstrated that lobsters recover rapidly from handling. Conversely, the increase in M˙ O2
induced by 2-phenoxyethanol demonstrated this is not an effective anaesthetic for reducing recovery periods
and physiological stress associated with handling. However, 2-phenoxyethanol and clove oil eliminated further
stress associated with force feeding, indicative of an invasive research procedure. Exercise to exhaustion resulted
in the largest magnitude increase in M˙ O2 and longest recovery period. It is therefore recommended that
aquaculture handling procedures take precautions to limit activity and are carried out without anaesthesia to
facilitate more rapid recovery of lobsters.