Physiological and hematological responses of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus) to different anesthetics during simulated transport conditions

Rodrigo Diana Navarro, Rafael Paiva França, Giane Regina Paludo, Yvonaldo Wlademir Saldanha Bizarro, Rodrigo Fortes da Silva, Fernanda Keley Silva Pereira Navarro


Minimization of stress during the transportation of live fish is essential in maintaining the welfare and performance of the animals. In order to test the hypothesis that stress during transport of fingerlings of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) can be reduced with the aid of the anesthetics menthol, eugenol or benzocaine, we have assessed the effects of these agents at various concentrations on the physiological parameters and survival rates of fish subjected to conditions simulating those normally used in transportation. Fingerlings (N = 1200) were fasted for 24 hours and distributed in 20 L polyethylene bags (N = 50 per bag) containing 5 L of water and an anesthetic at the appropriate concentration. Fingerlings treated with menthol at 75 mg L-1, or eugenol or benzocaine at 20 mg L-1, maintained levels of plasma cortisol and glucose that were lower than those of the stressed but untreated controls and within the physiological limits of the baseline values for this species. Under these conditions, the survival rate was 100%, suggesting that stress was substantially reduced despite dense consignment. Treatments involving higher doses of the studied agents induced significant anesthetic toxicity.



menthol; benzocaine; eugenol; fish

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ISSN 1806-2563 (impresso) e ISSN 1807-8664 (on-line) e-mail:


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