Concurrent environmental stressors and jellyfish stings impair caged European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) physiological performances

Jun 15, 2016 | CERES publications, marine aquaculture

The increasing frequency of jellyfish outbreaks in coastal areas has led to multiple ecological and socio-economic issues, including mass mortalities of farmed fish. We investigated the sensitivity of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), a widely cultured fish in the Mediterranean Sea, to the combined stressors of temperature, hypoxia and stings from the jellyfish Pelagia noctiluca, through measurement of oxygen consumption rates (MO2), critical oxygen levels (PO2crit), and histological analysis of tissue damage. Higher levels of MO2, PO2crit and gill damage in treated fish demonstrated that the synergy of environmental and biotic stressors dramatically impair farmed fish metabolic performances and increase their health vulnerability. As a corollary, in the current scenario of ocean warming, these findings suggest that the combined effects of recurrent hypoxic events and jellyfish blooms in coastal areas might also threaten wild fish populations.

Bosch-Belmar M, Giomi F, Rinaldi A, Mandich A, Fuentes V, Mirto S, Sarà G, Piraino S (2016) 

Scientific Reports 6: 27929  DOI 10.1038/srep27929

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