Data for Ojelade et al. "Capture and discard practices associated with an ornamental fishery affect the metabolic rate and aerobic capacity of three-striped dwarf cichlids Apistogramma trifasciata"
Data from the paper entitled "Capture and discard practices associated with an ornamental fishery affect the metabolic rate and aerobic capacity of three-striped dwarf cichlids Apistogramma trifasciata". Fishing causes the direct removal of individuals from wild populations but can also cause a physiological disturbance in fish that are released or discarded after capture. While the sublethal physiological effects of fish capture have been well-studied in commercial and recreational fisheries, this issue has been overlooked for fisheries in the ornamental fish trade, where it is common to capture fish from the wild and then discard non-target species. We examined the metabolic response to capture and discard procedures in the three-stripe dwarf cichlid Apistogramma trifasciata, a popular Amazonian aquarium species that nonetheless may be discarded when not a target species. Individuals (n = 34) were tagged and exposed to each of four treatments designed to simulate typical procedures during the capture and discard process: 1) a non-handling control; 2) netting; 3) netting + 30 seconds of air exposure; and 4) netting + 60 seconds of air exposure. Metabolic rates were then estimated using intermittent-flow respirometry, immediately following each treatment then throughout recovery overnight. Increasing amounts of netting and air-exposure caused an acute increase in oxygen uptake and decrease in available aerobic scope. In general, recovery occurred quickly, with rapid decreases in oxygen uptake within the first 30 minutes post-stress handling. Notably, however, male fish exposed to netting + 60 seconds of air exposure showed a delayed response whereby available aerobic scope was constrained below 75% of maximum until around 4-6 hours post-stress. In addition, larger fish showed a greater initial increase in oxygen uptake post-stress and slower rates of recovery. The results suggest that in the period following discard, this species may experience a reduced aerobic capacity for additional behavioral/physiological responses including feeding, territory defence, and predator avoidance. These results are among the first to examine the impacts of discard practices in the ornamental fishery and suggest that ecophysiological research can provide valuable insight toward increasing sustainable practices in this global trade. File contain data plus a metadata tab explaining each column and the units of measurement.