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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Evaluation of the efficacy and impact on animal safety when using AQUI-S® 20E (10% eugenol) to sedate cool and warm freshwater-reared finfish during transport

Principal Investigator: Aaron Cupp

Impact of UMESC Science

The results from this study will provide data that is necessary to support the potential approval of a sedative that will allow hatcheries to transport fish more efficiently.

Introduction

There is a critical need in U.S. public aquaculture and fishery management programs for the use of an immediate-release sedative (i.e. a compound that would safely and effectively sedate fish allowing for their release immediately after regaining normal swimming activity).  An immediate-release sedative could be used during any field procedures involving the handling or distribution of fish.  Such a sedative would have applications for nearly all freshwater fish species.  Currently, tricane methanesulphonate (MS-222) is the only fish sedative approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Use of MS-222 is constrained by a FDA imposed 21-day withdrawal period meaning fish exposed to MS-222 cannot be made available for human consumption for at least 21 days.

AQUI-S® 20E (AQUI-S® New Zealand Ltd., Lower Hut, New Zealand) is the candidate sedative that is currently being pursued for approval as an immediate-release sedative.  Previous effectiveness research has focused on assessing AQUI-S®20E for moderate to heavy sedation so that fish could be easily handled and released immediately after sedation.  Based on feedback from fisheries managers and private aquaculture, another use for the sedative was recognized, the use of the sedative to quiet fish (i.e. light to moderate sedation) during transport.  Research is needed to assess the efficacy and animal safety when using AQUI-S®20E to sedate fish that are being transported for as long as 24 h.

Objective

Evaluate the efficacy and impact on animal safety when using AQUI-S® 20E to sedate freshwater-reared finfish for transport.

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