Metabolic Sensitivity of Fish to Ocean Dumping of Industrial Wastes

  • Donald E. Wohlschlag
  • Faust R. ParkerJr.
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 12)


Respiratory metabolic stress studies of an ocean-dumped waste on Lutjanus campechanus, red snapper, indicated that sublethal concentrations of 0.2% v/v dilution of the ponded “biotreated” waste would have a depressing effect on swimming activity, on respiratory metabolism at maximum sustained swimming rates and on the metabolic scope for activity, which is the difference between the active and the standard (maintenance) metabolic rates. At 20°C the toxic effects were greater for the combined liquid and solid fractions than for the filtered liquid as a consequence of raising the standard, and reducing the active, metabolic rates. At 28°C the effects were lessened, presumably because the fish were already under some thermal stress and possibly because of the thermal lability and volatility effects on the toxicants.

An evaluation of the general technique of utilizing metabolic scope attenuation with stress reveals that weight and length effects on both respiratory metabolism and swimming propensities need careful future consideration, especially since larger fish may be the more stress sensitive. Several suggestions are made for increasing the sensitivity and precision of future applications of this technique.

The possibility of modifying the technique for a continuously monitoring system is advanced for cases in which the chemical nature, concentration, and/or uptake rates of the toxic materials by fish are not known. The value of acquiring data from stress-metabolism experiments that can also be energy-related to other population and ecosystem characteristics is also emphasized.


Oxygen Consumption Rate Rest Metabolism Rate Sockeye Salmon Swimming Velocity Standard Metabolic Rate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald E. Wohlschlag
    • 1
  • Faust R. ParkerJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science Institute Port Aransas Marine LaboratoryUniversity of TexasPort AransasUSA

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