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Influence of cooking, refrigeration, and freezing on size of blue swimmer crabs, Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758)

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Shrinkage of crustaceans as a result of cooking and processing is an enforcement problem for fisheries management agencies throughout the world when size is regulated. Here we show that the carapace of blue swimmer crabs, Portunus pelagicus shrinks as a result of various cooking and processing practices, however, this shrinkage is marginal. There is only a 5% chance that a crab that was 15 cm (current minimum legal size) when first caught would decrease by more than 0.9 mm as a result of common cooking and processing practices. Fisheries compliance agencies should, therefore, build in a small degree of measurement tolerance (1 mm) in their enforcement of the size regulations for this species. La diminution de taille des crustacés, suite à leur cuisson et à leur préparation constitue un problème pour les organismes de gestion des pêches à travers le monde, quand la taille est réglementée. Dans ce travail, nous montrons que la carapace du crabe Portunus pelagicus se rétrécit à la suite de divers procédés de cuisson et de préparation, mais ce rétrécissement est peu important. Il y a seulement 5% de chances pour qu'un crabe mesurant 15 cm (taille minimum légale de pêche) juste pêché diminue de plus de 0,9 mm après les procédés habituels de cuisson et de préparation. Les agences de gestion des pêches devraient, par conséquent, inclure un degré minime de tolérance sur la mesure (1 mm), dans leur règlementation concernant les tailles légales de pêche pour cette espèce.


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