Friday, June 13, 2008

A few nuggets of fish news

In case you missed these stories:
  • Yesterday, the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to move the west coast groundfish fishery one step closer to a tradeable quota system. The new IFQ system for flounder, sole, and Pacific rockfish* would be the largest in the U.S. in terms of geographic scope and impact. They're now moving ahead with the regulatory analysis and hope for a final vote in November, those these things have been known to take longer than expected. Check out former Senator Slade Gorton's OpEd on the topic.
  • Researchers at the Marine Mammal Center and NOAA found that domoic acid poisoning not only affects adult sea lions, but can also damage sea lions in the womb, causing behavioral problems and seizures later in life.
  • In other pre-natal news, cuttlefish decide what they want to eat based on what they observed around them as larvae (read Zooillogix's summary if you can't get the whole article). We've known about the transmission of learned behaviors in marine mammals for some time (for example, sea otters use rocks to open their food only if they had rock-using mamas) but it's news to see it in other orders.
* On the west coast of the U.S., "rockfish" refers to 70+ species of Sebastes. Not to be confused with the rockfish of the east coast, aka striped bass.

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