Bortoletti, M., Fonsatti, E., Leva, F. et al. 2023. Influence of transportation on stress response and cellular oxidative stress markers in juvenile meagre (Argyrosomus regius). Animals 13(20), 3288.

In aquaculture, the transportation of live fish is a crucial but stress-inducing practice, necessitating a thorough understanding of its impact on fish welfare. This study aimed to assess the physiological stress response of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) juveniles during a 24 h commercial transport by quantifying muscle cortisol levels using a specific radioimmunoassay. Additionally, an immunohistochemical approach was used to detect and localize the cellular distribution of oxidative-stress-related biomarkers within various tissues and organs. The results demonstrated a significant increase in muscle cortisol levels following the loading procedure, remaining elevated above basal levels throughout the 24 h transport period. This effect may be attributed to either insufficient time for recovery from the loading stress or prolonged transportation-related stress. Immunostaining for all the antibodies we examined was observed in multiple tissues and organs, but we found no notable variations among the various transport phases. In conclusion, the observed stress response appears to be mainly linked to loading stress and the transport process itself, emphasizing the importance of implementing appropriate operational procedures to safeguard fish well-being during transport. Nonetheless, the unaltered distribution of oxidative stress markers between the control and transported groups suggests that the experienced stress might be within tolerable limits.

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