NEW YORK — Fish are more likely to eat salt when stressed out, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.
In the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers looked at data from four studies in which fish were placed in a water tank with a constant flow of salt and stressed out in different ways.
In one study, the researchers placed a strain of Atlantic cod on the tank for 15 minutes, followed by another 15 minutes for the other cod species.
The cod were placed either in the water with a continuous flow of freshwater or with a slow flow of saline water.
They found that the Atlantic cod were more likely than other cod to be stressed out.
When the cod were stressed, they were more than twice as likely to get a drop of salt from the tank than when the water was clear.
In another study, researchers put the fish in a large aquarium with a steady flow of fresh water, and the fish were allowed to swim freely and not be kept in an aquarium.
They found that they were much more likely when they were allowed free access to the water.
In a third study, they also had a stressor fish placed in the same tank, and again they found that this stressor species was more likely not to eat as much salt as the control fish.
In all of these studies, the fish had to be kept completely submerged in a constant pool of salt for up to two weeks.
In this study, fish had their stressor and the control cod fish placed on separate tanks for two weeks each, and their stressors were allowed access to salt at a steady rate, according the study authors.
They said the study shows that fish do not need salt in order to get salt, but instead that they can respond to the stressors of salt intake by increasing their appetite.
“It seems fish are capable of getting salt in the environment, but they’re not getting the amount they need,” said Dr. Roberta Ladd, a postdoctoral fellow at the University at Buffalo and co-author of the study.
“It appears that fish are more resilient than we previously thought.”