Species of Ocean Fish

Some species of ocean fish

There are many fish in the sea, as many a jilted lover has been told for non-marine-biological reasons, but what kinds, and how many? To answer those questions to date, scientists have relied on physical counts, often via the catching of said fish. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just take a sample of water and work a little magic to figure out who lived in the area?

Researchers have begun to analyze DNA in water samples to find out what fish live nearby. A new study of DNA in a small sample of water from central California's Monterey Bay Aquarium correctly identified most of the fish that live there; it also correctly calculated the relative abundance of sardine, tuna, dolphinfish, and mackerel (based on the relative quantities of genetic material). At first, the presence of DNA from an Atlantic species confused the scientists, until they found that it came from menhaden, which is used to feed the aquarium's residents, according to a statement.

This environmental DNA (or eDNA) presents a treasure trove of data about what organisms live in the environment, and scientists are beginning to figure out how to sift through and make sense of it. Identifying species from this DNA is no cake-walk, but determining population counts is more difficult still, and this study was one of the first to do the latter.


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2/3 of ocean predator fish gone

2011-02-21 09:29:41 by BiscuitCity


Predator fish in oceans on alarming decline, experts say
Over the past 100 years, some two-thirds of the large predator fish in the ocean have been caught and consumed by humans, and in the decades ahead, the rest are likely to perish, too.
In their place, small fish such as sardines and anchovies are flourishing in the absence of the tuna, grouper and cod that traditionally feed on them, creating an ecological imbalance that experts say will forever change the oceans


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