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The Effect of Cyanides on the Gill Colour of Fish

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

R. Bassindale
Tees Survey, Middlesbrough
B. A. Southgate
Tees Survey, Middlesbrough
F. T. K. Pentelow
Tees Survey, Middlesbrough


1. The changes brought about in the colour of the gills of rainbow trout and sea trout smolts by various poisons are described.

2. Cyanide causes a marked brightening, whilst phenolic substances, dissolved oxygen deficiency and naphthalene bring about a darkening of the gill colour. Fresh, untreated sewage has no effect.

3. The gill colour of smolts dying in the Tees Estuary was brighter than normal, indicating cyanide poisoning. This conclusion was confirmed by chemical methods.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1933

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page 671 note * Southgate, B. A., Pentelow, F. T. K., and Bassindale, R.Biochem. J., XXVI, No. 2, pp. 273284, 1932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar