Skeletal deformities in wild and farmed cleaner fish species used in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar aquaculture
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Fish Biology. 2020, 1-10. 10.1111/jfb.14337
As a first attempt to assess bone health in cleaner fish production, wild and cultured ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta and lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus were examined by radiology. In C. lumpus, wild fish (57%) had more vertebra deformities (≥1 deformed vertebrae) than cultured fish (2–16%). One wild C. lumpus had lordosis and another was missing the tail fin. In L. bergylta, wild fish (11%) had fewer vertebra deformities than cultured individuals (78–91%). Among the cultured L. bergylta, 17–53% of the fish had severe vertebra deformities (≥6 deformed vertebrae) with two predominate sites of location, one between vertebra 4 and 10 (S1) in the trunk, and one between 19 and 26 (S2) in the tail. Fusions dominated S1, while compressions dominated S2. Although wild L. bergylta had a low vertebra deformity level, 83% had calluses and 14% had fractures in haemal/neural spines and/or ribs. The site‐specific appearance and pathology of fracture and callus in wild L. bergylta suggests these are induced by chronic mechanical stress, and a possible pathogenesis for fish hyperostosis is presented based on this notion. In conclusion, good bone health was documented in cultured C. lumpus, but cultured L. bergylta suffered poor bone health. How this affects survival, growth, swimming abilities and welfare in cultured wrasse should be further investigated.