A review of swim bladder ventilation of physoclistousfish species: short and long-term survivorship after venting and comparison to alternate recompression methods
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Pressures on marine resources continue to increase, including the decline of fish populations. The fishing industry has acknowledged the importance of maintaining these fish populations and in response has increased research about fish preservation and policies and regulations to enhance conservation efforts. Catch-and-release regulations are one of many standards the fishing industry enforces to maintain weakening populations. However, the success of catch-and-release policies is dependent on the survival of the fish after release. One problem related to the survivorship of catch-and-release fish is rapid decompression and injuries sustained from barotrauma. To reverse the symptoms of barotrauma several recompression techniques have been developed, the most widespread being venting. This review compares several studies evaluating the effectiveness of venting in regards to the short- and long-term survivorship of catch-and-release fish. It was found the research currently available on venting is inconclusive on the techniques success. Less invasive and controversial recompression techniques are available and through education and product availability should be promoted within the fishing industry to avoid the possible increase of mortality venting may cause.