Contemporary Problems of Ecology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 297–308 | Cite as

Comparative Analysis of Content of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Food and Muscle Tissue of Fish from Aquaculture and Natural Habitats

  • M. I. Gladyshev
  • L. A. Glushchenko
  • O. N. Makhutova
  • A. E. Rudchenko
  • S. P. Shulepina
  • O. P. Dubovskaya
  • I. V. Zuev
  • V. I. Kolmakov
  • N. N. Sushchik


Two fish species reared in aquaculture (pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and whitefish Coregonus lavaretus) and ten fish species from natural habitats (whitefish C. lavaretus, tugun Coregonus tugun, broad whitefish Coregonus nasus, least cisco Coregonus sardinella, vendace Coregonus albula, boganid charr Salvelinus boganidae, charr Salvelinus alpinus complex, northern pike Esox lucius, sharp-snouted lenok Brachymystax lenok, and taimen Hucho taimen) have been studied. The content of two long-chain polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids (PUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA), in the muscle tissue of the fish and in their food (intestine contents) are compared. In the aquacultures of whitefish and pink salmon, the total content of EPA and DHA is significantly higher in feed than in the muscle tissue of the fish, which indicates losses of PUFA in the two-link food chain of the aquaculture during their transfer to the upper trophic level. EPA and DHA losses in aquaculture, which are confirmed by numerous literature data, mean an inefficient usage of the available sources of PUFAs and the aggravation of the global deficit of these biochemicals in the human diet. A study of natural fish populations reveals the accumulation of EPA and DHA in their biomass compared to food in many cases, although opposite phenomena are also observed. An assumption on the presence of an optimal, physiologically adequate species-specific level of PUFA in the fish muscle tissue has been made based on our data and literature data. If the level of PUFAs in the muscles is lower than optimal, their accumulation (bioaccumulation) from food and/or de novo synthesis are observed. When the optimal level is exceeded, the content of EPA and DHA in biomass approaches maximum species-specific values; however, part of these PUFAs entering from food is not digested or is catabolized. According to the obtained data, the species of the order Salmoniformes have an optimal level of 2 to 6 mg/g of wet weight. It has been found that in aquaculture approaching to maximum values of EPA + DHA content was accompanied by their losses (scattering) in the food chains, while in natural ecosystems the maximum values of PUFA content in the fish biomass are achieved by their accumulation from the lower trophic level. Boganid charr S. boganidae had the highest content of EPA + DHA in the muscle tissue among all known fish species (32.78 mg/g of wet weight).


fatty acids aquaculture food chain bioaccumulation 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. I. Gladyshev
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. A. Glushchenko
    • 2
  • O. N. Makhutova
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. E. Rudchenko
    • 2
  • S. P. Shulepina
    • 2
  • O. P. Dubovskaya
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. V. Zuev
    • 2
  • V. I. Kolmakov
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. N. Sushchik
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Biophysics, Krasnoyarsk Scientific Center, Siberian BranchRussian Academy of SciencesKrasnoyarskRussia
  2. 2.Siberian Federal UniversityKrasnoyarskRussia

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