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Accumulation of paralytic shellfish toxins by southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii causes minimal impact on lobster health

Turnbull, AR ORCID: 0000-0001-5701-8728, Malhi, N, Seger, A, Jolley, J, Hallegraeff, G ORCID: 0000-0001-8464-7343 and Fitzgibbon, Q ORCID: 0000-0002-1104-3052 2020 , 'Accumulation of paralytic shellfish toxins by southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii causes minimal impact on lobster health' , Aquatic Toxicology, vol. 230 , pp. 1-12 , doi:

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Recurrent dinoflagellate blooms of Alexandrium catenella expose the economically and ecologically important Southern Rock Lobster in Tasmania to paralytic shellfish toxins (PST), and it is unknown if PST accumulation adversely affects lobster performance, health and catchability. In a controlled aquaculture setting, lobsters were fed highly contaminated mussels to accumulate toxin levels in the hepatopancreas (mean of 6.65 mg STX.2HCl equiv. kg−1), comparable to those observed in nature. Physiological impact of PST accumulation was comprehensively assessed by a range of behavioural (vitality score, righting ability and reflex impairment score), health (haemocyte count, bacteriology, gill necrosis and parasite load), nutritional (hepatopancreas index and haemolymph refractive index) and haemolymph biochemical (21 parameters including electrolytes, metabolites, and enzymes) parameters during a 63 day period of uptake and depuration of toxins. Exposure to PST did not result in mortality nor significant changes in the behavioural, health, or nutritional measures suggesting limited gross impact on lobster performance. Furthermore, most haemolymph biochemical parameters measured exhibited no significant difference between control and exposed animals. However, the concentration of potassium in the haemolymph increased with PST, whilst the concentration of lactate and the sodium:potassium ratio decreased with PST. In addition, exposed lobsters showed a hyperglycaemic response to PST exposure, indicative of stress. These findings suggest that PST accumulation results in some measurable indicators of stress for lobsters. However, these changes are likely within the adaptive range for Jasus edwardsii and do not result in a significant impairment of gross performance. Our findings support previous conclusions that crustaceans are relatively tolerant to PST and the implications for the lobster fishery are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Turnbull, AR and Malhi, N and Seger, A and Jolley, J and Hallegraeff, G and Fitzgibbon, Q
Keywords: biotoxins, rock lobster, spiny lobster, stress response, physiology
Journal or Publication Title: Aquatic Toxicology
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0166-445X
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2020 Elsevier Science BV

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