Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Food requirements and lipid accumulation in captive yellowfin tuna: Thunnus albacares
Student Author(s): Perla, Bianca
Faculty Advisor(s): Block, Barbara
Pages: 33
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1995
Abstract: Through the months of December 1994 - March 1995 captive yellowfin tuna kept at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center in Monterey, CA displayed behavioral and physiological signs of high whole body lipid levels. Autopsies revealed lipid accumulation in the heart, gills, and musclesm and 4 sudden deaths occured that may have been due to cardiac arrest or lipid accumulation in the blood. The fish acted sluggish and over-satiated during feedings. Possible high lipid levels in the diet were thought to be a contributing factor to increased lipid storage in the tissue. To test this hypothesis, diet was cut for the months of April and May from 2 times a day every day to once a day every other day. Individual tuna in each tank were followed during the feedings and data were recorded on type of food eaten, amount of foodd eaten and activity level before and during feeding. Food amounts obtained from these observations were analyzed for fat content and total caloric content. Old and new diets were compared on this basis. In addiiton histological techniques were used to compare fat levels in red and white muscle tissue of TRCC tuna-fed a diet of squid, anchovies and sardines, with Kewalo basin captive tuna -fed a diet of 100% squid.