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Title: Understanding barotrauma in fish passing hydro structures: a global strategy for sustainable development of water resources

Freshwater fishes are one of the most imperiled groups of vertebrates and species declines have been linked to a number of anthropogenic influences. This is alarming as the diversity and stability of populations are at risk. In addition, freshwater fish serve as important protein sources, particularly in developing countries. One of the focal activities thought to influence freshwater fish population declines is water resource development, which is anticipated to increase over the next several decades. For fish encountering hydro structures, such as passing through hydroturbines, there may be a rapid decrease in pressure which can lead to injuries commonly referred to as barotraumas. The authors summarize the research to date that has examined the effects of rapid pressure changes on fish and outline the most important factors to consider (i.e., swim bladder morphology, depth of acclimation, migration pattern and life stage) when examining the susceptibility of barotraumas for fish of interest.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: Fisheries, 39(3):108-122
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States