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Chemical excretions of angled bonefish Albula vulpes and their potential use as predation cues by juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris

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Bonefish Albula vulpes (n = 7) exercised to exhaustion and air exposed for 1 min as part of a catch-and-release angling event were found to excrete both ammonia and urea, but cortisol and lactate were below detectable levels. Urea made up a greater proportion of total nitrogen excretion from these fish at all time points following an angling event. When captive juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris (n = 12) were exposed to a 30 s pulse of these chemicals [ammonia (500 mM), cortisol (20 µg l−1), lactate (6 mM) or urea (3 mM)], they showed a significant reduction in the frequency of resting behaviours when exposed to ammonia and urea than when exposed to control water. It appears that products excreted by A. vulpes, particularly ammonia and urea, may provide an olfactory cue for the post-release predation of A. vulpes by N. brevirostris during catch-and-release angling events.
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Keywords: catch-and-release angling; nitrogenous waste; olfaction; recreational fisheries; stress; welfare

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: School of Marine Science and Engineering, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K. 2: Flats Ecology and Conservation Program, Cape Eleuthera Institute, c/o Twin Air, 3406 SW 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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