Claw removal and feeding ability in the edible crab, Cancer pagurus: Implications for fishery practice

Lynsey Patterson, J.T.A. Dick, Robert Elwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Feeding ability and motivation were assessed in the edible crab, Cancer pagurus, to investigate how the fishery practice of de-clawing may affect live crabs returned to the sea. Crabs were either induced to autotomise one claw, or were only handled, before they were offered food. Initially, autotomised and handled crabs were offered mussels, Mytilis edulis, a large part of their natural diet. After 3 days, both autotomised and handled crabs were then offered fish, a more readily handled food source. Autotomy induced crabs consumed significantly fewer mussels and less mussel mass, but ate significantly more mass of fish. This indicates that the effect of autotomy was a reduction of ability to feed on mussels rather than a general reduction of feeding motivation. The discontinuation of claw removal needs to be considered, both for the sustainability of the fishery and animal welfare concerns. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-305
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume116
Issue number2-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals

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