DAO 108:137-147 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02710

Pesticide-contaminated feeds in integrated grass carp aquaculture: toxicology and bioaccumulation

J. Pucher1,*, T. Gut2, R. Mayrhofer3, M. El-Matbouli3, P. H. Viet4, N. T. Ngoc4, M. Lamers2, T. Streck2, U. Focken

1Life Science Center, and 2Institute of Soil Science and Land Evaluation, Biogeophysics, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
3Clinical Division of Fish Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria
4Research Center for Environmental Technology and Sustainable Development, Hanoi University of Science, Hanoi, Vietnam
5Th√ľnen-Institute of Fisheries Ecology, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries, 22926 Ahrensburg, Germany
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Effects of dissolved pesticides on fish are widely described, but little is known about effects of pesticide-contaminated feeds taken up orally by fish. In integrated farms, pesticides used on crops may affect grass carp that feed on plants from these fields. In northern Vietnam, grass carp suffer seasonal mass mortalities which may be caused by pesticide-contaminated plants. To test effects of pesticide-contaminated feeds on health and bioaccumulation in grass carp, a net-cage trial was conducted with 5 differently contaminated grasses. Grass was spiked with 2 levels of trichlorfon/fenitrothion and fenobucarb. Unspiked grass was used as a control. Fish were fed at a daily rate of 20% of body mass for 10 d. The concentrations of fenitrothion and fenobucarb in pond water increased over time. Effects on fish mortality were not found. Fenobucarb in feed showed the strongest effects on fish by lowering feed uptake, deforming the liver, increasing blood glucose and reducing cholinesterase activity in blood serum, depending on feed uptake. Fenobucarb showed increased levels in flesh in all treatments, suggesting bio-concentration. Trichlorfon and fenitrothion did not significantly affect feed uptake but showed concentration-dependent reduction of cholinesterase activity and liver changes. Fenitrothion showed bioaccumulation in flesh which was dependant on feed uptake, whereas trichlorfon was only detected in very low concentrations in all treatments. Pesticide levels were all detected below the maximum residue levels in food. The pesticide-contaminated feeds tested did not cause mortality in grass carp but were associated with negative physiological responses and may increase susceptibility to diseases.


KEY WORDS: Organophosphate pesticide · Carbamate · Contaminated feeds · Cholinesterase ·  ChE · Risk assessment · Grass carp · Ctenopharyngodon idella · Fish farming


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Cite this article as: Pucher J, Gut T, Mayrhofer R, El-Matbouli M and others (2014) Pesticide-contaminated feeds in integrated grass carp aquaculture: toxicology and bioaccumulation. Dis Aquat Org 108:137-147. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02710

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