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The effect of cooking and freezing on the carapace measurement of western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus George, 1962

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Law courts occasionally have had to deal with evidence on the measurement of rock lobsters that have been cooked, or sometimes both cooked and frozen. A point of contention in legal argument involving breaches of legal minimum size regulation, has been whether processing the lobsters could have affected measurement of the original carapace length. We show that Panulirus cygnus shrink slightly with cooking (p < 0.01) and with freezing (p < 0.01), but that this shrinkage is minimal. The overall shrinkage in carapace length from the combination of cooking and freezing is 0.11 mm (s.e. = 0.0076). These results are compared with a similar study on the effects of cooking on the carapace length of Jasus edwardsii. In light of results from this investigation, a tolerance of 0.3 mm is considered appropriate before prosecuting fishers with cooked, or cooked and frozen sub-legal sized western rock lobsters.

Les cours de tribunaux ont eu de temps en temps à traiter des mesures des langoustes ayant été cuits ou quelquefois à la fois cuits et congelés. Un point de litige parmi les arguments juridiques concernant les infractions au règlement sur la taille légale minimale a été que les procédés de préparation des langoustes pourraient affecter la longueur originale de la carapace. Nous avons montré que Panulirus cygnus rétrécit légèrement à la cuisson (p < 0,01) et à la congélation (p < 0,01) mais que ce rétrécissement est minime. Le rétrécissement de longueur de la carapace par combinaison de la cuisson et de la congélation est de 0,11 mm (s.e. 0,0076). Ces résultats ont été comparés à ceux d'une étude comparable sur les effets de la cuisson sur la longueur de la carapace de Jasus edwardsii. A la lumière des résultats de cette investigation, une tolérance de 0,3 mm doit être considérée comme appropriée avant de poursuivre les pêcheurs qui ont des langoustes cuits, ou cuits et congelés de taille minimale.


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