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Hormones are used in fish farming to increase fish production when one sex of a species has the capacity to grow bigger and faster than the other sex. The technique to increase fish production based on sexual dimorphism mostly uses estrogens and androgens. These chemicals must be handled carefully to ensure environmental, biological and food safety since they can contaminate the environment and promote changes in the endocrine system inducing adverse effects on consumer health.

Uses of hormones in Fish farming

Sex reversal: Sex reversal can be achieved with hormonal treatment during sex differentiation. Fish sex may be separated into genotype, which is determined by the genes responsible for gonads formation, and phenotype, which is the appearance of the ovary or testis.
Artificial reproduction: Another use of hormones in aquaculture is in seed production, i.e. artificial reproduction, which is important for manipulating the final maturation and ovulation in the gonad.


Commercially, it is advantageous to rear individuals of the most profitable gender, thereby achieving more uniform lots and controlling undesirable breeding. The advantages of hormonal treatment ensure maximum growth, eliminate early maturation in males and allow broodstock management.