I RUN A RESTAURANT AND WISH TO PREPARE LIVE CRABS HOW DO I KEEP THEM ALIVE FOR A FEW DAYS?
I LIVE CLOSE TO THE SEA AND THINKING OF SETTTING UP AN AQUARIUM...ANY SUGGESTIONS?
There were lots of past posts on this topic. I'm guessing someone can dig them up. I'll start with the basics...refridgerate them right in the baskets with damp towels draped over to keep the air moist. Crabs can breath air as long as their lungs/gills don't dry out. An expert should give you the exact temperature to keep them at...it's a little warmer than a typical fridge. They get real slow when you make them cold.
Apparently submersing the crabs back in water then out to the air is a bad thing...shocks them or something. Something about bio processes adjusting to air breathing vs. water oxy absorption if I recall, anyway they don't like it and will add to the death rate.
When you pull them out and go to cook them, make sure you get rid of the dead ones. Digestive juices rot the dead crab from the inside out. Sometimes hard to tell because they are so slow from the cold...Spray a little water in its face and you should see bubbles. Also the mouth hangs away on a dead crab...live crabs hold it closed. Turn on its back and see if the walking legs stay up and wiggle a little.
Try not to skimp on the fridge...friend of mine lost ~10 bushells when his compressor went up. Worth the $$$ for a decent cold box.
Hope this helps...good luck.