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Research Highlight

2-phenoxyethanol: An Effectual Anaesthetic Agent

M.S. Vishnu Nair
Laboratory of Environmental Sciences, Aquaculture and Fish Biotechnology, PG and Research Department of Zoology, Fatima Mata National College, Kollam, India

Freshwater hill stream fish scientifically known as “Hypselobarbus kurali” is a well known omnivorous species. It is generally termed as the “kooral” and is widespread in the Western Ghats Rivers of peninsular, India. Unfortunately, this fish is drastically reducing in number in the rivers of Kerala.

Hypselobarbus kurali which belongs to the family cyprinidae has been listed as susceptible species according to the protocols of “International Union for Conservation of Nature” (IUCN) and it can become an endangered species in the absence of proper managing protocols. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to prioritize implementation of conservation measures for “kooral”.

Accordingly, these strategies involve induced breeding of the H. kurali and transportation of brood as well as seed. But, handling of live fish is difficult that stresses the fish and can cause injury, loss of mucus and ultimately leads towards mortality.

However, this problem can be solved by anaesthetizing the fish. It is a useful option to facilitate handling, enhanced egg yield and breeding response by lessening brood mortality rates. In this regard, anaesthetic 2-phenoxyethanol plays a significant role in handling and the transportation of the freshwater hill stream fish.

It is a common fish anaesthetic that is extensively used in sedation and transportation of fish1. The efficient anaesthetic concentration of 2-phenoxyethanol in several fish species have been suggested to range between2,3 200-600 μL L1.

Considering these facts, scientists performed a novel study regarding the application of a commonly used anaesthetic 2-phenoxyethanol, in the handling as well as transportation of the fresh water hill stream fish “Hypselobarbus kurali4.

The findings of this experiment showed that 2-phenoxyethanol is an effectual and safe anaesthetic for the handling as well as the transportation of H. kurali broodstock. The effective dosage that induces anaesthesia in H. kurali was found as 500 μL L1. Moreover, a recovery period of more than 1 sec was noticed as desirable in the transportation.

Conclusively, a thorough investigation is needed regarding the effects of this anaesthetic on the transportation of seed and adults of H. kurali to standardize the package of practices. In a nutshell, the proper application of this anaesthetic will absolutely be of great help in facilitating easy handling, propagation as well as the stock revival of this endangered indigenous fish.


  1. Guo, F.C., L.H. Teo and T.W. Chen, 1995. Effects of anaesthetics on the water parameters in a simulated transport experiment of platyfish, Xiphophorus maculates (Guenther). Aquacult. Res., 26: 265-271
  2. Pawar, H.B., S.V. Sanaye, R.A. Sreepada, V. Harish, U. Suryavanshi and Z.A. Ansari, 2011. Comparative efficacy of four anaesthetic agents in the yellow seahorse, Hippocampus kuda (Bleeker, 1852). Aquacult., 311: 155-161
  3. Weber, R.A., J.B. Peleteiro, L.O.G. Martin and M. Aldegunde, 2009. The efficacy of 2-phenoxyethanol, metomidate, clove oil and MS-222 as anaesthetic agents in the Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis Kaup 1858). Aquacult., 288: 147-150
  4. Nair, M.S.V. and E.S. Williams, 2015. Adequacy study of 2-Phenoxyethanol on Hypselobarbus kurali as an anesthetic. Int. J. Zool. Res., 11: 102-106
How to cite this article:

M.S. Vishnu Nair, 2020. 2-phenoxyethanol: An Effectual Anaesthetic Agent. Asian Journal of Emerging Research, 2(4): 160-161.

DOI: 10.21124/AJERPK.2020.160.161

URL: http://acecollege.edu.pk/ajer/fulltext.php?artid=135