Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 871–879

Slaughter of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in the presence of carbon monoxide


    • Institute of Marine Research
    • Department of Molecular BiologyUniversity of Bergen
  • Bjørn Olav Kvamme
    • Institute of Marine Research
  • Arnt J. Raae
    • Department of Molecular BiologyUniversity of Bergen
  • Bjorn Roth
    • Department of Processing TechnologyNofima AS
  • Erik Slinde
    • Institute of Marine Research
    • Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food ScienceNorwegian University of Life Science

DOI: 10.1007/s10695-012-9747-5

Cite this article as:
Bjørlykke, G.A., Kvamme, B.O., Raae, A.J. et al. Fish Physiol Biochem (2013) 39: 871. doi:10.1007/s10695-012-9747-5


The different stunning methods for Atlantic salmon can still be improved with regard to animal welfare. Salmon exposed to carbon monoxide expressed no aversive reactions towards CO as such. CO exposed fish showed an earlier onset of rigour mortis and a faster decrease in muscle pH due to depletion of oxygen during the treatment. Exposure to CO did increase the level of cortisol compared to undisturbed control fish, but the increase was less than in the water only control group. Neuroglobin, a CO binding globin, was found in salmon brain and Saccus vasculosus, a richly vascularized sac connected to the fish brain. Binding of CO to neuroglobin during sedation might possibly improve animal welfare.


Animal welfare Atlantic salmon Carbon monoxide Neuroglobin Saccus vasculosus Slaughter

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012