Crab with low meat yield should be returned alive to the sea, as they will improve condition over a number of months and may then be recaptured as marketable crab. They are found in depths between 6 m and 200 m, but more usually between 6 m and 80 m, with the larger crab occurring offshore. Newly moulted crab have a soft or pale shell and are likely to have a very poor meat yield; Excessive Fouling: Crab that have excessive fouling of the shell from barnacles and calcareous tube worms are unsuitable for processing and may return a poor price. Local conditions must be considered when siting keeps or storage boxes (e.g. The aim of this guide from the Irish Sea Fisheries Board (BIM) is to provide practical and contemporary guidelines on the handling and quality of crabs, at all stages, from capture to the first point of sale.

The transport conditions and documents required for vivier transport are contained in European legislation (i.e. Crab that are below the legal minimum size (i.e. It is commercially important to be able to identify male and female brown crab: Brown crab that are below the legal minimum carapace width (130 mm south of 56 oN, 140 mm north of 56 oN) should be returned to the sea, alive and undamaged; Soft-shelled brown crab should be returned to the sea, alive and undamaged, so that the shell hardens and the meat yield improves; Brown crab that are physically damaged through the loss of a claw or claws, are commonly referred to, by the industry, as cripples and should be returned alive, to the sea; Egg-bearing or berried females should be returned alive, to the sea, to ensure future generations of crab and contribute to the responsible management of the fishery; Nicking of the tendons in the claws is carried out so that the pincers of each claw are rendered powerless and cannot damage other crab during communal storage and transport; Only 1 %, or less, of the weight of the catch, retained aboard may be made up by separated claws; Clawed brown crab carcasses should not be discarded or used as bait as they have the potential to introduce serious diseases into the crab stock; After each string of pots is hauled, the catch should be stowed in boxes and covered with porous, water absorbent cloth, such as hessian sacking; Crab keeps or storage boxes, should be located in an area of good quality seawater with stable temperature and salinity; Crab that are to be sold immediately on landing should be kept on the vessel with seawater flowing through the stack of covered boxes, until the transport vehicle arrives. Some of these effects can be reversed when the crab is re-immersed in seawater. In some cases, blackspot of the shell can cause the underlying white meat to be discoloured. Pie-crust edge is dark in colour. The underside of the body ranges from pale yellow to light brown and the pincers of the claws are tipped black. Pie-crust edge is light in colour with pale indentations. Figure 3. These conditions are made worse by any crab that die in the tank. Brown crab should be graded when removed from pots. Seawater, periodically sprayed over stacked boxes from a deck hose, will assist in keeping the temperature down through evaporative cooling; If stacked boxes of crab cannot be put in the hold, proper covering of the boxes with porous, water absorbent cloth and regular hosing down with seawater, becomes essential. Even short-term exposure to wind and low humidity, can lead to gill damage.

The colour, particularly of the underside, varies during the moult cycle and is an indicator of quality. Now you can remove the white meat and brown meatfrom the crab.The brown meat is really rich, tasty and creamy. If the crab has to be stored out of water during fishing operations, they should be placed in boxes with their back facing upwards; Where boxes are stacked, the top box should be covered with porous, water absorbent cloth such as hessian sacking, which is kept damp by periodically spraying it with seawater from a deck hose. Visual grading for meat yield is a skill developed over time and learnt by experience. Prolonged exposure to the air will lead to permanent, internal damage and the eventual death of the crab. The reproductive cycle of a mature, female, brown crab. This can be achieved by covering the boxes with porous, water absorbent cloth such as hessian sacking, which is kept damp by periodically spraying it with seawater from a deck hose; It is preferable to stack boxes of crab in the hold where they are out of direct sunlight. Place ice water in a large bucket or pan while the crabs are cooking. Shell white or cream in colour with no visible hairs. These are referred to as live returns and include the following: Blackspot is a condition, which causes minor shell and meat damage. Buyers specifications should be sought in this regard. The colour and firmness of the shell is the main indicator used to determine if a brown crab is likely to yield a commercial quantity of meat. Ideally, crab should be held for no longer than 48 hours on the vivier transport vehicle; It is critical that the difference in temperature, experienced by brown crab when they are transferred from pot to vivier vessel and from vivier vessel to vivier transport vehicle, is not more than 6 oC. If crabs are to be sold immediately on landing then: Under the right conditions, storage of brown crab in vivier tanks, is preferable to dry hold storage, as it minimizes the amount of time that crab are exposed to air.

This tolerance is to facilitate the landing of claws, which have been accidentally lost during handling, storage and transport. Seawater is supplied to the tank and emptied from it, through the white pipes (a). Very large individuals are relatively uncommon but crab have been recorded with shells up to 250 mm in width. This fishing method has a low impact on the environment and is very selective, thereby greatly limiting the by-catch of other species. She then develops and spawns an egg mass of between 1 and 4 million, orange-coloured eggs. Air circulation through boxes must be allowed, otherwise the crab will suffocate. Rough handling and high temperatures will increase the rate, at which this happens. The white meat is delicate and sweet. Pull off the two large claws and crack open with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy knife. There should be a 1:1 ratio, by volume, of crab to seawater in vivier tanks; The best rates of survival are achieved when crab are graded and only the fittest and best quality crab are put into the vivier tanks. This is carried and protected under her abdomen for seven to eight months, until the eggs hatch during the spring and early summer and are released as larvae into the plankton (Fig. No part of this site may be reproduced without permission. Its versatile white and brown meat can be used in loads of delicious recipes – from crab cakes to crab pasta or just a straight-up sarnie. EU Council Regulation (EC) 853/2004 Laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin and Council Regulation (EEC) 2847/93 Establishing a control system applicable to the common fisheries policy). Carefully pick out the meat, which is known as white meat. The underside of the shell is white or cream in colour, with no visible hairs and is soft to the touch. This causes changes in blood acidity and ammonia levels to increase within the crab. Shell darkly coloured throughout. Final report of project 01.SM.T1.04, funded by the Irish Government and part-financed by the European Union under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 through the Supporting Measures in the Fisheries Sector. In such cases, when crab are re-immersed in seawater, the gills will no longer be able to function properly. Achieving net zero emissions by 2045 is among the pledges made in a major new blueprint setting out a long-term vision for Scotland’s successful farmed salmon sector. Clawed brown crab carcasses should not be discarded or used as bait as they have the potential to introduce serious diseases into the crab stock; After each string of pots is hauled, the catch should be stowed in boxes and covered with porous, water absorbent cloth, such as hessian sacking; Brown crab with the following characteristics should also be returned, alive and undamaged, to the sea: Nicking involves severing the tendon at the base of the pincers of each claw, so that the pincers are rendered powerless and cannot damage other crab during communal storage and transport. Note: If non-commercial, poor quality and low-yield grades of crab are landed and sold they damage the market reputation of Irish brown crab and reduce the price, which the vessel owner receives for the catch. Claws dark brown in colour with cream underside. Turn the crab shell upside down. Council Regulation (EC) No. If the shell is pliable and bends under pressure, then the crab is considered to be soft-shelled; The underside of the claws are off-white in colour. It is important to note that both these market forms require the crab to have a high meat yield. The following guidelines for handling brown crab, are based on practical and scientific knowledge: Minimize the length of time crabs are exposed to air.

river, storm drain). Brown crab is landed in all major and many smaller ports around the Irish coast. Avoid throwing crabs into boxes when removing them from pots; Do not overfill boxes. 1. transfer to and removal from the keep or storage box. If nicking is not done correctly, the crab can suffer significant blood loss and die, either immediately or later during transport and storage. Claws light brown in colour with off-white underside. 2. After each string of pots is hauled, the catch should be stored and covered with porous, water absorbent cloth such as hessian sacking, which is periodically sprayed with seawater from a deck hose; Boxes should not be stacked more than five high; Water absorbent cloth such as hessian sacking, should cover all the crab in the top box, in such a manner that ensures that clean seawater, from a deck hose, can flow through the stack of boxes; Do not overfill boxes as this may result in crushing, when the boxes are stacked. Salmon farming firms have taken four of the top seven places in an index that assesses the sustainability levels of 60 of the world's key protein producers. The hardness of the shell can be checked by holding the crab on its back and pressing either side of the mouthparts with the thumbs; The underside of the claws are cream in colour. A co-operative of 11 seaweed farms in South Korea are targeting European markets after achieving ASC-MSC certification. If a high number of dead crab are a regular occurrence, the trip duration and grading criteria should be reviewed and the tank cleaning schedule checked.

- The male or cock crab has a narrow, triangular pointed abdomen, which fits tightly to the underside of the body; - The female or hen crab has a broad, beehiveshaped abdomen or apron, which fits tightly to the underside of the body. Although levels of blackspot may vary, all affected brown crab should be returned, alive to the sea.