Effects of angler-induced exercise and air exposure on the mortality of mouth-hooked yellowfin bream (Acanthopagrus australis)
Reynolds, DP, Broadhurst, MK, Butcher, PA & Rolfe, M 2009, 'Effects of angler-induced exercise and air exposure on the mortality of mouth-hooked yellowfin bream (Acanthopagrus australis)', Journal of Applied Ichthyology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 100-103.
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Two aquaria experiments were done to quantify the short-term (up to 10 days) mortality of mouth-hooked yellowfin bream (Acanthopagrus australis) after short and long playing times (5 vs 30 s) followed by different extremes in air exposure (2.5 vs 5 min). During exp. 1, 44 fish were angled from randomly-selected 5000-L holding tanks, played for 5 s, subjected to either 2.5 or 5 min air exposure and then released into replicate sea cages located in a 1050 KL pool. Appropriate numbers of controls were transferred without air exposure from an unfished 5000-L tank into separate cages in the pool. The same methodology was applied during exp. 2, except that 31 yellowfin bream were angled and played for 30 s (rather than 5 s) before being subjected to the different durations of air exposures and released. Fish were monitored for 10 and 5 days in exps. 1 and 2, respectively. Concentrations of plasma cortisol and glucose were collected from samples of fish on the first and last days of the experiments. The only mortalities were two individuals (one from each treatment) during exp. 2, attributed to clotted blood (from hook wounds) across the gill lamellae. Surviving individuals at the end of the experiments had variable elevations in plasma cortisol but not glucose, indicating acute stress responses that were probably evoked during sampling. The conclusion is that yellowfin bream are resilient to being mouth-hooked, exercised and exposed to air before being released. However, to minimise impacts, individuals should be released as soon as possible, especially when blood is present at the hook wound.