Copyright American Fisheries Society 2012.

Published in Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science, Vol. 4 (2012) at DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2012.728182


To support the growing interest in marine fisheries research in areas such as biotelemetry, tagging, and tracking, we assessed the ability of various sedatives to facilitate this research in juvenile cobias Rachycentron canadum (∼300 g), namely, tricaine methanesulfonate (MS-222; 150 mg/L), carbon dioxide (CO2; ∼750 mg/L), eugenol (60 mg/L), benzocaine (150 mg/L), and pulsed-DC electrosedation (100 V, 30 Hz, 25% duty cycle, 5-s exposure). Induction times (CO2 [z] > benzocaine [y] > eugenol [y] > MS-222 [y] > electrosedation [x]), recovery of equilibrium (CO2 [z] > eugenol [z] > MS-222 [y] > benzocaine [y] > electrosedation [x]), and responsiveness to tactile stimulus (eugenol [z] > MS-222 [y] > benzocaine [y] > CO2 [xy] > electrosedation [x]) differed significantly among the sedative treatments (treatments with the same letters are not significantly different). Total handling time from initial sedative exposure to recovery differed among the sedatives as well (CO2 [z] > eugenol [y] > benzocaine [x] > MS-222 [x] > electrosedation [w]), with cumulative means ± SEs of 5.9 ± 0.2 min for CO2, 4.1 ± 0.2 for eugenol, 2.7 ± 0.2 min for benzocaine and MS-222, and 1.0 ± 0.2 min for electrosedation. Physiological responses differed significantly over time, with transient increases in plasma cortisol, glucose, osmolality, and lactate that were resolved within 6 h. The overall magnitude of the physiological responses differed among sedatives, depending on the response variable; however, in each case, CO2 elicited the greatest response. Although variations in induction and recovery times were observed, it is likely that these differences can be reasonably accommodated within the context of typical research by adjusting the sedative treatments or allowing for longer induction and recovery times as needed.



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