Do pingers cause stress in fish? An experimental tank study with European sardine, Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) (Actinopterygii, Clupeidae), exposed to a 70 kHz dolphin pinger

Sabine Goetz*, M. Begona Santos, Jose Vingada, Damian Costas Costas, Antonio Gonzalez Villanueva, Graham John Pierce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Acoustic deterrent devices (pingers) that are designed to alert marine mammals to the presence of fishing gear have been successfully employed to reduce cetacean-fishery interactions. However, pinger sounds may affect fisheries target species: noise can induce short-term stress responses in fish that are reflected in increased blood cortisol concentrations and behavioural alterations, which may ultimately result in reduced catch rates. In order to test this hypothesis, the present study analyses the hormonal and behavioural stress response of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) to a commercially available pinger-the 70 kHz dolphin pinger. The responses of wild captive fish to the pinger sounds were tested in tank experiments, measuring the stress level of fish by analysing blood plasma cortisol concentration and swimming behaviour. Mixed effect models were used for statistical analysis. During the experiments, pinger sounds caused subtle, but significant elevations in sardine plasma cortisol concentration and fish school compaction. However, when compared to the rates of increase reported for acute stress responses in similar studies, the observed increment was very small. This suggests that the sounds of the trialled pinger are not likely to significantly alter sardine behaviour and should consequently not have any negative impact on sardine catch rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume749
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Keywords

  • pinger
  • sardine
  • stress response
  • cortisol
  • catch rate
  • cetacean-fishery interactions
  • porpoise hocoena-phocoena
  • shad alosa-sapidissima
  • bottle-nosed dolphins
  • acoustic alarms
  • rainbow-trout
  • ultrasound detection
  • delphinus-delphis
  • gillnet fisheries
  • interview survey
  • Galician waters

Cite this

Do pingers cause stress in fish? An experimental tank study with European sardine, Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) (Actinopterygii, Clupeidae), exposed to a 70 kHz dolphin pinger. / Goetz, Sabine; Begona Santos, M.; Vingada, Jose; Costas Costas, Damian; Gonzalez Villanueva, Antonio; Pierce, Graham John.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 749, No. 1, 05.2015, p. 83-96.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Goetz, Sabine ; Begona Santos, M. ; Vingada, Jose ; Costas Costas, Damian ; Gonzalez Villanueva, Antonio ; Pierce, Graham John. / Do pingers cause stress in fish? An experimental tank study with European sardine, Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) (Actinopterygii, Clupeidae), exposed to a 70 kHz dolphin pinger. In: Hydrobiologia. 2015 ; Vol. 749, No. 1. pp. 83-96.
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abstract = "Acoustic deterrent devices (pingers) that are designed to alert marine mammals to the presence of fishing gear have been successfully employed to reduce cetacean-fishery interactions. However, pinger sounds may affect fisheries target species: noise can induce short-term stress responses in fish that are reflected in increased blood cortisol concentrations and behavioural alterations, which may ultimately result in reduced catch rates. In order to test this hypothesis, the present study analyses the hormonal and behavioural stress response of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) to a commercially available pinger-the 70 kHz dolphin pinger. The responses of wild captive fish to the pinger sounds were tested in tank experiments, measuring the stress level of fish by analysing blood plasma cortisol concentration and swimming behaviour. Mixed effect models were used for statistical analysis. During the experiments, pinger sounds caused subtle, but significant elevations in sardine plasma cortisol concentration and fish school compaction. However, when compared to the rates of increase reported for acute stress responses in similar studies, the observed increment was very small. This suggests that the sounds of the trialled pinger are not likely to significantly alter sardine behaviour and should consequently not have any negative impact on sardine catch rates.",
keywords = "pinger, sardine, stress response, cortisol, catch rate, cetacean-fishery interactions, porpoise hocoena-phocoena, shad alosa-sapidissima, bottle-nosed dolphins, acoustic alarms, rainbow-trout, ultrasound detection, delphinus-delphis, gillnet fisheries, interview survey, Galician waters",
author = "Sabine Goetz and {Begona Santos}, M. and Jose Vingada and {Costas Costas}, Damian and {Gonzalez Villanueva}, Antonio and Pierce, {Graham John}",
note = "Date of acceptance: 06/12/2014 Acknowledgments The study was funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Science (Fundac¸a˜o para a Cieˆncia e Tecnologia– FCT) through a PhD Grant of SG (SFRH/BD/47931/2008). We would like to thank the captain of the purse-seiner (Jose´ Manuel Saveedra) and his crew for facilitating the capture and transport of live fish. Moreover, we want to thank Ana Marcalo for suggestions on the experimental design, Manuel Garci for technical advice on underwater video recordings and James Turner from the company Future Oceans for providing technical details on the 70 kHz dolphin pingers. We would also like to acknowledge the scientific advice of Dr. Jose Iglesias and the technical and logistic support for the preparation of the laboratory and the materials for tank experiments by Enrique Martınez Gonzalez, Ricardo Pazo and other staff at the aquaculture facilities of the Spanish Institute for Oceanography (IEO) and the Marine Sciences Station of Toralla (ECIMAT) in Vigo. Furthermore, we are grateful to Francisco de la Granda Grandoso for his practical assistance during the fish tank experiments and to Juan Santos Blanco for helping with statistical analysis. Finally, we would like to thank Pilar Riobo Agula, Amelia Fernandez Villamarin, Jose Franco Soler, Jose Luis Munoz, Angela Benedetti, Marcos Antonio Lopez Patio and Marta Conde Sieira for scientific advice and practical support with cortisol analysis and Rosana Rodrıguez for preparing histological samples for us.",
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T1 - Do pingers cause stress in fish? An experimental tank study with European sardine, Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum, 1792) (Actinopterygii, Clupeidae), exposed to a 70 kHz dolphin pinger

AU - Goetz, Sabine

AU - Begona Santos, M.

AU - Vingada, Jose

AU - Costas Costas, Damian

AU - Gonzalez Villanueva, Antonio

AU - Pierce, Graham John

N1 - Date of acceptance: 06/12/2014 Acknowledgments The study was funded by the Portuguese Ministry of Science (Fundac¸a˜o para a Cieˆncia e Tecnologia– FCT) through a PhD Grant of SG (SFRH/BD/47931/2008). We would like to thank the captain of the purse-seiner (Jose´ Manuel Saveedra) and his crew for facilitating the capture and transport of live fish. Moreover, we want to thank Ana Marcalo for suggestions on the experimental design, Manuel Garci for technical advice on underwater video recordings and James Turner from the company Future Oceans for providing technical details on the 70 kHz dolphin pingers. We would also like to acknowledge the scientific advice of Dr. Jose Iglesias and the technical and logistic support for the preparation of the laboratory and the materials for tank experiments by Enrique Martınez Gonzalez, Ricardo Pazo and other staff at the aquaculture facilities of the Spanish Institute for Oceanography (IEO) and the Marine Sciences Station of Toralla (ECIMAT) in Vigo. Furthermore, we are grateful to Francisco de la Granda Grandoso for his practical assistance during the fish tank experiments and to Juan Santos Blanco for helping with statistical analysis. Finally, we would like to thank Pilar Riobo Agula, Amelia Fernandez Villamarin, Jose Franco Soler, Jose Luis Munoz, Angela Benedetti, Marcos Antonio Lopez Patio and Marta Conde Sieira for scientific advice and practical support with cortisol analysis and Rosana Rodrıguez for preparing histological samples for us.

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N2 - Acoustic deterrent devices (pingers) that are designed to alert marine mammals to the presence of fishing gear have been successfully employed to reduce cetacean-fishery interactions. However, pinger sounds may affect fisheries target species: noise can induce short-term stress responses in fish that are reflected in increased blood cortisol concentrations and behavioural alterations, which may ultimately result in reduced catch rates. In order to test this hypothesis, the present study analyses the hormonal and behavioural stress response of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) to a commercially available pinger-the 70 kHz dolphin pinger. The responses of wild captive fish to the pinger sounds were tested in tank experiments, measuring the stress level of fish by analysing blood plasma cortisol concentration and swimming behaviour. Mixed effect models were used for statistical analysis. During the experiments, pinger sounds caused subtle, but significant elevations in sardine plasma cortisol concentration and fish school compaction. However, when compared to the rates of increase reported for acute stress responses in similar studies, the observed increment was very small. This suggests that the sounds of the trialled pinger are not likely to significantly alter sardine behaviour and should consequently not have any negative impact on sardine catch rates.

AB - Acoustic deterrent devices (pingers) that are designed to alert marine mammals to the presence of fishing gear have been successfully employed to reduce cetacean-fishery interactions. However, pinger sounds may affect fisheries target species: noise can induce short-term stress responses in fish that are reflected in increased blood cortisol concentrations and behavioural alterations, which may ultimately result in reduced catch rates. In order to test this hypothesis, the present study analyses the hormonal and behavioural stress response of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) to a commercially available pinger-the 70 kHz dolphin pinger. The responses of wild captive fish to the pinger sounds were tested in tank experiments, measuring the stress level of fish by analysing blood plasma cortisol concentration and swimming behaviour. Mixed effect models were used for statistical analysis. During the experiments, pinger sounds caused subtle, but significant elevations in sardine plasma cortisol concentration and fish school compaction. However, when compared to the rates of increase reported for acute stress responses in similar studies, the observed increment was very small. This suggests that the sounds of the trialled pinger are not likely to significantly alter sardine behaviour and should consequently not have any negative impact on sardine catch rates.

KW - pinger

KW - sardine

KW - stress response

KW - cortisol

KW - catch rate

KW - cetacean-fishery interactions

KW - porpoise hocoena-phocoena

KW - shad alosa-sapidissima

KW - bottle-nosed dolphins

KW - acoustic alarms

KW - rainbow-trout

KW - ultrasound detection

KW - delphinus-delphis

KW - gillnet fisheries

KW - interview survey

KW - Galician waters

U2 - 10.1007/s10750-014-2147-3

DO - 10.1007/s10750-014-2147-3

M3 - Article

VL - 749

SP - 83

EP - 96

JO - Hydrobiologia

JF - Hydrobiologia

SN - 0018-8158

IS - 1

ER -