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AB prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00727

Effect of tail fin loss on swimming capability and tail beat of juvenile black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

Lu Cai, Jihua Chen, David Johnson, Zhiying Tu, Yingping Huang*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Fin clipping is a common practice in fisheries management and hatchery fish are marked this way. In the wild, the tail (caudal) fin may be damaged or lost to predation or disease. Because the tail fin is important to fish swimming behavior and ability, this study was designed to examine the effects of partial and complete loss of tail fin on the swimming ability of juvenile black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus). Swimming speed and tail beat frequency were measured for three groups (intact tail fin, partial tail fin, no tail fin) using a stepped velocity test conducted in a fish respirometer. Findings include: (1) Critical swimming speed (Ucrit) and burst speed (Uburst) decreased slightly in the partial fin group and significantly in the no fin group. In the group with no tail fin, Uburst decreased more than Ucrit, clearly diminishing the ability to avoid predators. (2) Mean tail beat frequency (TBFmean), Ucrit and Uburst all decreased slightly in the partial fin group and significantly in the no fin group. The decrease in tail beat force and TBF both reduce swimming capability. These findings contribute to fish biology and to fisheries management.