2) Using HACCP principles and physiological studies to improve marketing practices for live crustaceans.
When aquatic animals are removed from their natural environment they show a series of compensatory responses up to a point designated CL - the critical limit. Beyond this point there are pathological changes leading to overt disease or intrinsic quality loss. Many of the practices and methods used commonly throughout the shellfish live trade, worldwide, may impose serious stresses that, collectively, impair the animals' physiological compensatory responses.
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, widely used in the food industry, is shown to be an effective means of assuring consistently high product quality. HACCP involves identifying aspects of holding and distribution system that are potentially harmful to the animals (as identified by their physiological performances) and then providing alternative procedures. Such a scheme offers obvious advantages over traditional quality control system, based on visual inspections of product that may have deteriorated, i.e., preventions is better than cure.
Here, we give the results of a series of physiological studies on the responses of the spiny lobster, Panulirus interruptus , to several of the most common stressors it a may encounter during its live marketing. The application of HACCP procedures to a particular case study where handling steps taking place between the point of capture and throughout the marketing chain is examined. Attention is drawn to those aspects of the chain of handling steps that were considered potentially harmful and to the establishment of the animals' tolerance limits to them.