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FISH Out of WATER: How Much Air is Too Much?
- Cook, Katrina V., Lennox, Robert J., Hinch, Scott G., Cooke, Steven J.
- Fisheries 2015 v.40 no.9 pp. 452-461
- air, exposure duration, fish, hypoxia, managers, sport fishing
- Exposing fish to air following capture influences postrelease survival and behavior. Air exposure causes acute hypoxia and physical damage to the gill lamellae, resulting in physiological stress and physical damage that increases with air exposure duration. Air exposure duration is a relevant and easily quantified metric for both fishers and managers and can therefore provide a definitive benchmark for improving postrelease survival. Yet, fishers are rarely provided with specific recommendations other than simply to “minimize” air exposure. This is a subjective recommendation, potentially causing confusion and noncompliance. Here we discuss and summarize the literature regarding air exposure thresholds in both commercial and recreational fisheries, the factors influencing these thresholds, and identify knowledge gaps limiting our understanding of tolerance to air exposure in captured fish.