Materials and Methods: In this study, grouper juveniles (92.43±standard error of the mean 0.51 mm) maintained in 31 ppt seawater were transferred into five tanks with seawater diluted to 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 ppt. The salinity of the control group was not changed and was maintained at 31 ppt. Serum cortisol was measured using ELISA at 0, 30, 60, and 120 min after the fish were transferred to the different concentrations of salinity.
Results: The survival percentage was recorded for 14 days following the transfer and the results revealed that serum cortisol of fish in a high change in salinity (15, 10, and 5 ppt) was significantly higher than the control group immediately after exposure. At the high salinity change, the cortisol levels gradually decrease at 30 min and 60 min, until no difference in cortisol concentration was observed at 120 min. No mortality was observed in fish exposed to low salinity change (25 and 20 ppt) while in higher salinity change (5 ppt), the survival percentage was 50%.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the serum cortisol concentration was high initially and continues to decrease to resting cortisol level at 120 min indicating that cortisol hormone is released following acute stress as a primary response in grouper juveniles.