The paper reports the results of an experimental seismic survey in the open sea by an air gun, carried out to evaluate the effects of air gun acoustic waves on marine animals. Air gun blast exposition was found to have a marked influence on confined Dicentrarchus labrax. Our data, in fact, demonstrated a biochemical response to acoustic stress induced by air gun blasts. Variations of cortisol, glucose, lactate, AMP, ADP, ATP and cAMP in different tissues of D. labrax, indicate that fish have a typical primary and secondary stress response after air gun detonations. Radiography indicates that air gun blasts do not induce any macroscopic effect on skeletal apparatus. The variations of biochemical parameters returned within physiological values within 72 h indicating a rapid recovery of homeostasis after acoustic stress and no mortality was observed.
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