PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 3, 2015. Paper abstract bibtex
© 2015 Peregrin et al.In response to concerns regarding the potential for sub-lethal impacts of barotrauma on reproductively active Chrysophrys auratus during catch and release, 90 males and 90 females representing five reproductive stages (immature or resting-28%, developing-8%, developed-7%, ripe or spawning-23% and spent-34%) were angled from 8-70 m and macroscopically assessed (on-board and then in a laboratory). Irrespective of sex, all fish exhibited various clinical signs of barotrauma, including a prolapsed cloaca (60%of fish); gastric herniation (46%); ruptured swim bladder (73%); organ displacement (48%); and kidney (3%), liver (73%) and coloemic-cavity haemorrhaging (33%);with the frequency of nearly all positively associated with capture depth. Reproductive stage was also an important barotrauma predictor (reflecting related morphological changes) with a general trend towards spent fish least likely to incur the various clinical signs - especially for a prolapsed cloaca (also common among immature or resting fish and significantly affected by food in the digestive tract) and a ruptured swim bladder (common among ripe or spawning fish). The only macroscopically visible gonad damage was haemorrhaging, which was least common among immature or resting and spent fish and, irrespective of reproductive stage, temporally reduced in frequency, and more quickly among males than females. While further research is required to accurately describe the effects of angling at each stage of the reproductive cycle and the physiological consequences of barotrauma on the gonads of C. auratus, given the observed influences of reproductive stage and depth on barotrauma found in this study, any adverse effects might be partially managed by regulating either temporal or spatial fishing effort.