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Reduction in swimming performance in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) following sublethal exposure to pyrethroid insecticides

Goulding, Adam T., Shelley, Lesley K., Ross, Peter S., Kennedy, Christopher J.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C 2013 v.157 pp. 280-286
Oncorhynchus mykiss, aquaculture, deltamethrin, foraging, insects, juveniles, permethrin, pyrethrins, salmon, sublethal effects, swimming
While the lethal toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides to fish is well documented, their sublethal physio-behavioral effects remain poorly characterized. Known pyrethroid-associated changes to insect neuromuscular function may translate into similar effects in fish, thereby altering swimming ability and affecting foraging, predator avoidance, and migration. Three experiments were conducted using critical (Ucrit) and burst (Umax) swimming speeds to assess the sublethal effects of the pyrethroids permethrin and deltamethrin in juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish were exposed to deltamethrin (100, 200, or 300ng/L) or permethrin (1, 2, or 3μg/L) in water for 4d, and assessed for swimming performance. Deltamethrin (200 and 300ng/L) reduced Ucrit, but not Umax, while both swim performance measurements were unaffected by permethrin. Subsequent experiments used only Ucrit to assess deltamethrin exposure. In a time course experiment, deltamethrin (300ng/L) reduced Ucrit after 1 and 4d of exposure, but after 7d of exposure Ucrit was fully recovered. Finally, deltamethrin (1, 2, or 3μg/L) reduced Ucrit after 1h bath exposures similar to recommended protocols for deltamethrin based sea-lice treatment in aquaculture. The real-world implications of the revealed pyrethroid-associated swimming ability reductions in salmon may be important in areas close to aquaculture facilities.