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Gas from the Distended Bladder of....
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NMFS NUMBER: 96-SER-021
Removing Gas from the Distended Swim Bladder of Reef Fish:
Does It Really Increase Post-Release Survival?
Collins, Mark R.
September 8, 1998
National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Region, 9721
Executive Center Drive North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702.
TELEPHONE: (813) 570-5324
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
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