Venting and descending provide equivocal benefits for catch-and-release survival: Study design influences effectiveness more than barotrauma relief method. Eberts, R., L. & Somers, C., M. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 37(3):612-623, Taylor and Francis Inc., 5, 2017.
abstract   bibtex   
Descending fish to depths of neutral buoyancy is a promising, less-invasive alternative to swim bladder venting for relieving barotrauma and reducing mortality in sport fish. However, we lack a broad perspective on the relative benefits of these two approaches. We reviewed the most up-to-date literature to evaluate the effectiveness of venting compared to descending treatments. Mean relative risk (RR) based on 76 published comparisons (51 marine, 25 freshwater; 18 genera, 28 species) showed that venting (2.0 +/- 4.7 [mean +/- SD]) and descending (1.6 +/- 1.4) both had positive effects on survival (RR >= 1.1). However, RR was generally small and statistically indistinguishable between treatments, providing no strong support for the use of one method over the other. Modeling of factors affecting RR showed that the study design variable ``assessment method'' was the only important factor affecting RR, having a larger influence on survival than habitat, capture depth, or treatment type (venting versus descending). Biotelemetry and ex situ methods produced significantly higher estimates of RR than other assessments. Our review suggests that the two major approaches to barotrauma relief do not differentially influence survival outcomes and that study design may be an important source of bias. Consequently, we recommend that managers consider barotrauma relief options carefully on a case-by-case basis, and we encourage additional research on sublethal endpoints in addition to mortality.
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 title = {Venting and descending provide equivocal benefits for catch-and-release survival: Study design influences effectiveness more than barotrauma relief method},
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 year = {2017},
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 pages = {612-623},
 volume = {37},
 month = {5},
 publisher = {Taylor and Francis Inc.},
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 abstract = {Descending fish to depths of neutral buoyancy is a promising,
less-invasive alternative to swim bladder venting for relieving
barotrauma and reducing mortality in sport fish. However, we lack a
broad perspective on the relative benefits of these two approaches. We
reviewed the most up-to-date literature to evaluate the effectiveness of
venting compared to descending treatments. Mean relative risk (RR) based
on 76 published comparisons (51 marine, 25 freshwater; 18 genera, 28
species) showed that venting (2.0 +/- 4.7 [mean +/- SD]) and
descending (1.6 +/- 1.4) both had positive effects on survival (RR >=
1.1). However, RR was generally small and statistically
indistinguishable between treatments, providing no strong support for
the use of one method over the other. Modeling of factors affecting RR
showed that the study design variable ``assessment method'' was the
only important factor affecting RR, having a larger influence on
survival than habitat, capture depth, or treatment type (venting versus
descending). Biotelemetry and ex situ methods produced significantly
higher estimates of RR than other assessments. Our review suggests that
the two major approaches to barotrauma relief do not differentially
influence survival outcomes and that study design may be an important
source of bias. Consequently, we recommend that managers consider
barotrauma relief options carefully on a case-by-case basis, and we
encourage additional research on sublethal endpoints in addition to
mortality.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {Eberts, Rebecca L. and Somers, Christopher M.},
 journal = {North American Journal of Fisheries Management},
 number = {3}
}

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