Unlike many other seafood varieties, lobsters are usually shipped to shops and restaurants when they are alive,media reported. New technologies can help them survive on the road, reducing the number of extra lobsters that must be caught to provide a “buffer.” As part of a two-year project, an initiative led by the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine developed a device called the Lobster Micro Fitness Tracker.
It’s called the Crustacean Heart and Activity Tracker (C-HAT), and when the lobster is removed from the shrimp trap at sea, it’s tied to the lobster’s back.
The device is always in place when lobsters are put into fishing boats’ live tanks, passed through the supply chain and eventually entered retailers or processing plants. During this process, C-HAT continuously monitors and records the movement and heart rate of the crustacean. The researchers’ idea is that one or more lobsters in a shipment will be equipped with the tool to obtain data for use in other individuals.
In addition, a separate sensory device called MockLobster will be included in each shipment. It will record factors such as light levels, water temperature and dissolved oxygen, which will be combined with C-HAT data to create an environmental profile of what the animal is experiencing. If lobsters on a given route die before they reach their destination, you need to check the entire process to see where it can be improved.
Rick Wahle, director of the Lobster Institute, says they are working together to introduce new technologies to address the pressure points lobsters face from shrimp catchers to table change hands many times, and it would be a success if they could prove they have the tools to track their fate and improve their survival through the supply chain.