Aquaculture International

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 525–535 | Cite as

Scoring of the extent and intensity of carp (Cyprinus carpio) skin changes made by cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis): relationship between morphometric and histological indices

  • Stefan SkorićEmail author
  • Božidar Rašković
  • Vesna Poleksić
  • Zoran Gačić
  • Mirjana Lenhardt


Cormorants cause damage to fish in aquaculture not only by consuming large number of fish but also by wounding them. Quantification of the actual damage in fish induced by wounding is important for reliable estimations of the overall loss in aquaculture caused by cormorants. In this study, specimens of mirror and scaly carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) injured by attacks of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo L.) were collected from the “Ečka” fish farm in Serbia. Surfaces of superficial and open subepithelial wounds (expressed as a percent of the total body surface), estimated by computer-assisted image analysis, had mean values 10.66 ± 1.86 and 0.85 ± 0.90, respectively. Histological evaluation of wounds was performed by two scoring systems: system proposed by Bernet et al. (J Fish Dis 22:25–34, 1999) and modified system described by Wahli et al. (Aquaculture 225:371–386, 2003). The most frequent histopathological changes were disturbed epidermal structure and surface cell morphology and increased number of club cells (on more than 75% of specimens); increased number of melanocytes and their distribution in different layers in dermis; and enlarged hypodermis (more than 80% of samples) and myolysis (50% of samples). Comparison of wounds’ surfaces (surface of superficial injures) and histopathological changes, estimated by two scoring systems, revealed significant positive correlation. Bernet’s scoring system showed higher correlation coefficients, when compared with the modified Wahli’s scoring system.


Carp Cormorant Histopathological changes Skin injuries Scoring system 



Body weight


Cyst-like structures in dermis


Excoriation of epidermis


Proliferation of the epidermis


Exudate in dermis


Fulton’s factor of fish condition


Hematoxylin and eosin


Myolysis of muscular tissue


Nidus in epidermis


Spongiosis of the epidermal tissue


Total body length



The present study was supported by the project “Improving production capacity of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) with nutrition and selection programs” (No. TR-31075), as well as by the project “Fish as water quality indicators in open waters of Serbia” (No. OI-173045), funded by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Skorić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Božidar Rašković
    • 2
  • Vesna Poleksić
    • 2
  • Zoran Gačić
    • 1
  • Mirjana Lenhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of BelgradeZemun, BelgradeSerbia

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