Barotrauma and Successful Release of Fish Caught in Deep Water

fish experiencing barotrauma

If you catch a fish you are not going to keep, help it survive and get back to the deep! Throwing back your unwanted catch is good practice because healthy released fish can live to grow and reproduce, which benefits the fish population and the future of fisheries. But deepwater fish can have trouble getting back where they came from without a little assist from the angler. This 4-page fact sheet written by Betty Staugler, Holly Abeels, Angela Collins, Shelly Krueger, and Kai Lorenzen and published by the UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant College Program describes barotrauma, a problem that, if left untreated, will kill otherwise perfectly healthy fish, and explains a few quick and simple methods to relieve fish suffering from barotrauma and help them get back home healthy and strong.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vibrio in Florida

Figure 3. The oyster bed is photographed at low tide when the animals are exposed to the air. These are called inter-tidal oyster beds. In some places in Florida, where the water is deeper in the estuary, the oysters always are underwater. These are called sub-tidal oyster beds. Credit: UF/IFAS photo
Florida is a tropical paradise that attracts marine enthusiasts and seafood lovers from around the world. Its extensive waterways not only offer unique areas for us to explore but also provide essential habitat for marine life, including marine bacteria that keep the habitat in healthy balance by breaking down organic matter and providing food for larger organisms. One type of marine bacteria known as Vibrio sometimes causes infections and seafood sickness in people with weakened immune systems, but Vibrio should not keep Floridians and visitors from enjoying their favorite activities because Vibrio infections are rare and easy to prevent. This 7-page fact sheet written by Gabby Barbarite, Peter J McCarthy, Holly Abeels, and Anita Wrightwill and published by the Florida Sea Grant College Program will help you ensure that your time on the water is as safe and enjoyable as possible.