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Reducing the incidence of net cage biting and the expression of escape-related behaviors in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) with feeding and cage enrichment

By Emily W. Zimmermann, Craig F. Purchase, Ian A. Fleming

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Abstract

The escape of fish from aquaculture is a persistent economic problem for farmers as well as an environmental problem that threatens wild fish population as a consequence of potential negative ecological and genetic interactions. Farmed Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) cause significant damage by biting the net and creating holes through which they escape. We determined the role of food, cage enrichment, net damage, and individual temperament on net biting behavior. During four separate trials, net interactions by fish were observed in relation to combinations of the above treatments. Fish with no access to food and in plain (not enriched) cages interacted the most with the net wall, with 7.5 and 12.6 more interactions per h, respectively, than fish with food that were in enriched cages (food P=0.01; enrichment P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 141
Issue 1
Pages 71-78
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.07.009
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Tags
  1. Aquacultural and fisheries
  2. Bites and stings
  3. Cages
  4. Fish farms
  5. temperament