Fish in the vicinity of large oil spills acquire characteristic flavour taints but little is known about their subsequent depuration. In this study, trout were exposed to 3 different tainting treatments with diesel fuel, then transferred to clean water, and samples assessed for taint at intervals for up to 15 weeks. The observed depuration periods were 2 to 17 times longer than others have reported but less than was needed for some of the farmed salmon affected by the Braer oil spill. Comparison of taint depuration times with changes in flesh pigmentation showed that flesh colour cannot be used to predict clearance of taint.

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