Fish scales are useful to ichthyologists for the purposes of classification, identification, age determination and history study. The fatty acid profile of the hexane extracts of the fresh water fish scale of Catla catla were analyzed by gas chromatography. Fish scales were collected from a local fish market, Chidambaram. The fatty acid profile was detected in the scales, with the following fatty acids dominating: 16:0, 18:0, 18:1, 18:2, 18:3 and 18:4. The use of fatty acid profiling in fish scales has the potential for stock identification in addition to the identification of fish farm escapees.
Key words: Fish scales, fatty acid, gas chromatography, Catla catla.