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Raising marketable yellow perch on a polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated diet: A feasibility study for the perch aquaculture industry

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The objective was to determine the feasibility of feeding yellow perch a PCB-contaminated diet without adversely affecting their rate of growth and without exceeding 5 ppm in the fillet. To determine the extent to which the fillet (skeletal muscle and skin) accumulates PCB, assessment was made of the whole body elimination and tissue distribution of a single PCB isomer [14C] 2,5,2′,5′-tetrachlorobiphenyl (4-CB) in fingerling and adult perch exposed to a single oral dose of 0.8 μg of [14C] 4-CB. Elimination and distribution of 4-CB was determined at regular intervals for five weeks after dosing. Fingerlings were found to eliminate 4-CB more rapidly than adults but the tissue distribution pattern of 4-CB residues not eliminated was similar in the two age groups. The carcass and viscera contained about 85% of 4-CB residues in the whole fish and 15% in the fillet. For chronic exposure to PCB-contaminated diets, perch fingerlings were reared under standardized aquaculture conditions that provided an optimal rate of growth. They were fed for 32 weeks either a control diet containing 0.2 ppm PCB or an experimental diet formulated from alewife meal that contained 1.8 ppm PCB. The data showed that growth of perch on the two diets was similar and that PCB concentrations in harvested fillets was less than 0.7 ppm. The significance of these findings is that the perch aquaculture industry may be able to feed lower cost PCB-contaminated diets and still harvest yellow perch fillets that meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines of 5 ppm for human food.

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Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Richard E. Peterson.

Additional information

Supported by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences of the University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program, and NIEHS Aquatic Biomedical Center Grant ES01985

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Sommer, D.A., Stuiber, D.A., Bradley, R.L. et al. Raising marketable yellow perch on a polychlorinated biphenyl contaminated diet: A feasibility study for the perch aquaculture industry. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 11, 589–593 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01056367

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  • Biphenyl
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Control Diet
  • Single Oral Dose
  • Experimental Diet