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Removing Gas from the Distended Bladder of....
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GRANT NUMBER:  NA77FD0065           NMFS NUMBER:  96-SER-021

REPORT TITLE:  Removing Gas from the Distended Swim Bladder of Reef Fish:  Does It Really Increase Post-Release Survival?

AUTHOR:  Collins, Mark R.

PUBLISH DATE:  September 8, 1998

AVAILABLE FROM: National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721 Executive Center Drive North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.   TELEPHONE:  (813) 570-5324

ABSTRACT

The benefits of deflating reef fish swim bladders were investigated by capturing fish by hook and line, deflating 203 fishes using a 16-gauge hypodermic needle, deflating 223 fishes with a 3-mm steel canula, and not deflating 227 fishes acting as control subjects. Benefit was measured by survival over the first 24 hours after release. This study found that black sea bass benefitted significantly from deflation and that vermillion snapper also benefitted but not to the same extent as black sea bass. Survival of fish deflated by the hypodermic needle and the 3-mm canula were approximately equal. The largest increase in survival was to black sea bass caught at 43-55 meter depth and deflated with the hypodermic needle. Control specimens exhibited a 61% survival rate while 100% of the specimens deflated by needle survived. It is recommended that released black sea bass should be deflated.

 
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