Fehrenbach, L. A., Adekanye, A. A., Palillo, M. B. et al. 2022. Internal temperatures of packaging for overnight cross-country shipping of zebrafish (Danio rerio). Comparative Medicine 72(3), 195-203.
As the use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a research model continues to rise, so too will the shipping and sharing of zebrafish strains across collaborating institutions. If done incorrectly, shipping can result in significant mortality, welfare concerns, and loss of valuable resources for researchers and research institutions. Here we introduce a novel method to track temperatures of zebrafish containers during shipping and show that internal packaging temperatures are directly affected by the external temperatures. We used temperature logging Thermochron iButtons to track the temperatures of 2 packages containing adult zebrafish that were shipped overnight from Dallas, TX to Columbus, OH during winter following recommended fish shipping guidelines. We found that the external packaging of both boxes of fish were exposed to temperatures that had previously been shown to be lethal to zebrafish. However, internal temperatures and, more specifically, water temperature, stayed within 24.0 to 26.5°C during shipment, resulting in 100% survival of adult zebrafish. This novel method of tracking packaging temperatures of live fish during shipping can help to inform fish health status on arrival.