Stress management in aquaculture
In a farming environment, the homeostasis of aquatic animals can be disrupted by several factors, such as water quality, stocking density, diet, sanitary status, pollution, and contaminants, etc. Sub-optimal conditions, depending on their intensity and duration, can result in acute or chronic stress. Prominent negative outcomes in stressed animals include a change of behaviour, impaired zootechnical performance and reduced immunity.
To cope with stress, animals display compensatory mechanisms to protect their physiological stability, increasing their demand for energy and the resources they need to support metabolic and cellular reactions. Oxidative stress is established at a cellular level when an animal’s capacity to counter oxidants (free radicals and reactive species) is defeated. Thus, the oxidation of cellular lipids, protein and biomolecules, such as DNA, can be triggered.