ASSESSING THE PREVALENCE OF CYANIDE-CAUGHT FISH IN THE U.S. MARINE AQUARIUM TRADE
The United States is the world's largest consumer of coral reef fishes for aquariums with upwards of 11 million fish imported annually. The largest exporters of marine aquarium fish (MAF) are the Philippines and Indonesia, both of which are known for the widespread use of cyanide (CN−) in MAF capture. CN− is metabolized into thiocyanate (SCN−), and fish exposed to CN− excrete SCN− in their urine for at least 28 days post exposure. The detection of elevated levels of SCN− in seawater that held MAF indicates likely exposure to CN−. In our study, the top ten MAF species imported by the U.S. were identified and purchased from a number of retailers and wholesalers across the U.S. We held individual MAF specimens in synthetic seawater for 24 hours and utilized High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with ultraviolet detector (HPLC-UV) to screen for SCN− in the holding water. SCN− was detected in a significant number of samples. No SCN− was detected in holding water that contained control specimens obtained from captive breeding facilities. This study shows that detection of SCN− in holding water is applicable in the U.S. supply chain and can be used to non-invasively and non-destructively screen MAF for exposure to cyanide during collection in source countries.
Umberger, R., For the Fishes, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Downs, C. A., Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, USA, email@example.com
Location: 310 THEATER
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