1) The effects of cooling and emersion on total haemocyte count and phenoloxidase activity of the spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus.
The transport of live animals is a common event in the highly specialised trade in live lobsters. Transport to distant markets may expose the animals to a wide range of conditions usually much inferior to those that prevail in their natural environment (Whiteley, 1995; Uglow, 1996; Taylor et al., 1997; Gomez-Jimenez, 1998).
The influences of environmental changes on aspects of immunocompetence in invertebrates are very poorly understood. (Truscott & White,1990,Smith & Chisholm 1992, Hauton et al., 1995, 1997a, 1997b,Chisholm &Smith 1994, Smith et al. , 1995) and the effects that live marketing stressors may have on the immune capability of high-value crustaceans such as the spiny lobster, P. interruptus, are virtually unascertained. In crustaceans different cell types (haemocytes]) have been shown to participate in defence reactions by being phagocytic and by playing an important role in wound closure and clotting (Bauchau,1981). In addition to these cell-mediated defences, crustaceans also produce humoral factors of considerable importance. One mechanism for non-self recognition in crustaceans is the prophenoloxidase activating system (proPO) (Ashida et al., 1982; Söderhäll, 1982) present in the blood of crustaceans. Several authors have suggested that haemotological parameters such as total haemocyte count (THC) and phenoloxidase activity ( PO ) might represent sensitive indicators of environmentally-induced immunosuppresion in marine crustaceans (Smith & Johnston, 1992; Hauton et al., 1995; Jussila et al., 1997). Accordingly, and given that spiny lobsters are high-value crustaceans and that high mortalities can jeopardize the success of their live marketing, the aim of this study was to describe changes in THC and PO in some common, live marketing practices such as during two cooling rates (3º C h -1 and 1. 5º C h -1) and after 12, 26, 38 and 49 h exposure to air at 7ºC.