Rockfish (Sebastes) suffer extreme ocular trauma (exophthalmia) during fishingascent when swim-bladder gas escapes and expands throughout the body. Unwanted discarded fish are buoyant and often incur mortality if not assisted to depth for recompression. While recompression leads to high short-term survival, the long-term consequences of exophthalmia have remained in question. Twelve rapidly decompressed rosy rockfish ( Sebastes rosaceus) exhibiting exophthalmia, were placed in hyperbaric chambers for 4 days to recompress gases and then slowly decompressed to sea-level pressures. Thereafter, their vision was assessed using an optokinetic reflex test (OKR), and again after one-month recovery. Eye movement rate increased significantly, and fish tracked smaller and faster moving stimuli over time. Percent exophthalmia did not significantly affect eye movement rate. Stretched optic nerves and/or muscles during exophthalmia likely recover quickly as indicated by increased visual performance over time. These findings may be beneficial in developing appropriate management strategies for declining rockfish fisheries.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/04M, Masters Abstracts International|
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