Adding salt to freshwater when transporting tilapia

Adding salt to freshwater when transporting tilapia

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Adding salt to freshwater when transporting tilapia reduces their cortisol levels

Adding 4 grams of salt to each litre of water used when transporting tilapia reduces stress, liver damage, oxidative stress and hydromineral imbalance, according to a new study.

Biologists from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), the Iranian Fisheries Sciences Research Institute, the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology Catarinense, and the Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources evaluated the effects of adding different doses of salt (0, 2 and 4 g/L) to transport water had on stress and antioxidant parameters of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), after 3 hours of transport.

One of the bottlenecks in the transport of fish is the deterioration of water quality, which is dangerous for fish. The stress caused by transport increases the metabolic rate, oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion. Therefore mitigation of stress during transport can reduce the deterioration of water quality, although the researchers reported that adding salt to the water did not bring benefits with respect to dissolved oxygen and ammonia levels in the water.
However, the addition of 2 or 4 g/L of salt to the water reduced cortisol and/or glucose elevations, suggesting a stress-relieving effect. Likewise, the results of the study indicate that the addition of 4 g/L of salt to the water can reduce stress in Nile tilapia during transport.

The addition of salt to the water (particularly 4 g/L) can suppress the negative effects of transport-induced oxidative conditions in fish liver tissue. Less oxidative conditions lead to greater liver cell integrity and higher hepatic ALT and AST concentrations,” they report.
“The representative results indicated that adding salt to the water has benefits for the transport of Nile tilapia. Fish transported in brackish water present a lower degree of stress, less liver damage, less hepatic oxidative stress, and better hydromineral balance, although there is no benefit in regarding the quality of the water” they conclude.

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