On-line version ISSN 0121-3709
PARADA-GUEVARA, Sandra L. and CRUZ-CASALLAS, Pablo E.. Variations in water quality and morbidity during capture and post-capture of loricariids species being sold in Acacias (Meta) Colombia. Orinoquia [online]. 2011, vol.15, n.2, pp. 180-191. ISSN 0121-3709.
An assessment was made of traditional fishing activity in the town of Acacias in the Meta department, emphasising capturing the suckermouth catfish or common pleco (Hipostomus plecostomus) and Clown pleco/Ringlet pleco/L104/L162/LDA22 (Panaque maccus), two species of the loricariids from the Colombian Orinoco region. They have been traditionally captured and sold as ornamental fish for over 40 years, meaning that captured individuals' morbidity and mortality rates are not registered due to the informality of such fishing. The present work was thus intended to determine the effects of capture and post-capture on the fishes' health, assessing river water quality and every phase of the fishing traditionally used in the area, including a complete hydrological cycle (February 2008-January 2009) in the Acacias, Orotoy and Guamal rivers. Temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, ammonia, nitrites and water hardness were monitored from capture until 96 h post-capture. It was noted that the variables having the highest coefficients of variation were ammonium (2.9 ± 3.2 mg L-1), dissolved oxygen (3.2 ± 2.3 mg L-1) and conductivity (74.9 ± 41.5 ms), significantly (p<0.01) affecting the survival and health of fish which were caught. Lack of acclimatising the fish and their improper handling during collection and transport were identified as being the most critical factors associated with high morbidity (10 %) and mortality (9.5 %). There were significant (p>0.05) changes in body condition and colouring during the 96 h sampling period. The results lead to recommending the need for management protocols aimed at improving fish capture procedures and conditions to ensure the fishes' adaptation and improve their survival in captivity.
Keywords : Fishery; management; loricariid/catfish; Colombia; water quality.