Effects of UV Radiation and Diet on Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Skin, Ocular Tissue and Dorsal Muscle of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) Held in Outdoor Rearing Tanks


Corresponding author email: michael.arts@ec.gc.ca (Michael T. Arts)


The effect of UV radiation (UVR) on juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was assessed by measuring the fatty acid (FA) profiles of muscle, dorsal and ventral skin, and ocular tissues following 4-month long exposures to four different UVR treatments in outdoor rearing tanks. Fish were fed two different diets (Anchovy- and Herring-oil based) that differed in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) concentrations. Anchovy-fed salmon had higher concentrations of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid; 18:3n-3), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid; 20:5n-3) and DPA (docosapentaenoic acid, 22:5n-3) in their muscle tissues than fish fed the Herring feed. Fish subjected to enhanced UVB levels had higher concentrations of LIN (linolenic acid, 18:2n-6) and ALA, total omega-6 FA and SAFA (saturated fatty acids) in their tissues compared with fish in reduced UV treatments. Concentrations of ALA, LIN, GLA (gamma-linolenic acid; 18:3n-6), EPA, PUFA and total FA were higher in ventral skin of fish exposed to enhanced UVB compared with fish in reduced UV treatments. Salmon exposed to reduced UV weighed more per-unit-length than fish exposed to ambient sunlight. The FA profiles suggest that fish exposed to UV radiation were more quiescent than fish in the reduced UV treatments resulting in a buildup of catabolic substrates.