Charles Darwin, the British naturalist who championed the theory of evolution, noted that corals form far-reaching structures, largely made of limestone, that surround tropical islands. He didn’t know how they performed this feat. Now, Rutgers scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, shows for the first time that several proteins are organized spatially – a process that’s critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.Read more
Overfishing likely did not cause the Atlantic cod, an iconic species, to evolve genetically and mature earlier, according to a study led by Rutgers University and the University of Oslo – the first of its kind – with major implications for ocean conservation.Read more
Sea-based fish farming systems using net pens are hard on the environment and fish. A closed cage can improve fish welfare, but seawater must be continuously circulated through the cage. However, waves can cause the water to slosh inside the cage, creating violent motions and endangering the cage and fish. A study using a scale-model containment system is reported in Physics of Fluids and shows why violent sloshing motions arise and how to minimize them.Read more
Scientists have little understanding of the role fishes play in the global carbon cycle linked to climate change, but a Rutgers-led study found that carbon in feces, respiration and other excretions from fishes – roughly 1.65 billion tons annually – make up about 16 percent of the total carbon that sinks below the ocean’s upper layers.Read more
Under increasing global warming, tropical fish are escaping warmer seas by extending their habitat ranges towards more temperate waters. But a new study shows that the ocean acidification predicted under continuing high CO2 emissions may make cooler, temperate waters less welcoming.
New research out of the University of Chicago has found evidence that the lobe-finned fish species Tiktaalik roseae was capable of both biting and suction during feeding, similar to modern-day gars. These results provide evidence that bite-based feeding originally evolved in aquatic species and was later adapted for use on land.Read more
A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.Read more
Research from the University of Adelaide has found that some species of fish will have higher reproductive capacity because of larger sex organs, under the more acidic oceans of the future.
Researchers have found a novel way to identify heat-stressed corals, which could help scientists pinpoint the coral species that need protection from warming ocean waters linked to climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study.Read more
With restaurants and supply chains disrupted due to the global coronavirus pandemic, two-fifths of commercial fishermen surveyed from Maine through North Carolina did not go fishing earlier this year, according to a Rutgers study that also documented their resilience and adaptation. Of those who kept fishing, nearly all reported a decline in income compared with previous years, according to the survey of 258 fishers in the Northeast published in the journal PLOS ONE.Read more
Conservation of fish and other marine life migrating from warming ocean waters will be more effective and also protect commercial fisheries if plans are made now to cope with climate change, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Science Advances.Read more
A collaboration between researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that small, community-based reserves in Thailand’s Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity in a region whose subsistence fisheries have suffered from decades of overharvesting.Read more
The pandemic is putting a hurt on the seafood industry, finds the largest study of COVID on U.S. fisheries, which suggests that American fishmongers may flounder – or go belly up – without more government aid.
-Monthly fresh seafood exports declined up to 43%
-Monthly imports fell up to 37%
-Catches dropped 40% some months.
Over the first six months of 2020:
-Total U.S. seafood exports are down 20%
-Imports are down 6%
-Further losses are likely as restrictions increase to address COVID-19.
New research into how catfish capture prey provides an unparalleled view of the internal mechanics of fish skulls and could inspire the design of new underwater robots.Read more
When startled, do all fish respond the same way? A few fish, like Mexican cavefish, have evolved in unique environments without any predators. To see how this lack of predation impacts escape responses that are highly stereotyped across fish species, scientists explored this tiny fish to determine if there are evolved differences in them. Findings reveal that the dramatic ecological differences between cave and river environments contribute to differences in escape behavior in blind cavefish and river-dwelling surface cavefish.Read more
Fish and seaweed secrete a layer of mucus to create a slippery surface, reducing their friction as they travel through water. A potential way to mimic this is by creating lubricant-infused surfaces covered with cavities. As the cavities are continuously filled with the lubricant, a layer is formed over the surface. In the journal Physics of Fluids, researchers in South Korea conducted simulations of this process to help explain the effects.Read more
New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 10, 2020) – A Rutgers-led project will buy 76,000 oysters from New Jersey oyster farmers whoRead more
Land development in New Jersey has slowed dramatically since the 2008 Great Recession, but it’s unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to fight societal and housing inequality will affect future trends, according to a Rutgers co-authored report. Between 2012 and 2015, 10,392 acres in the Garden State became urban land. That’s 3,464 acres a year – far lower than the 16,852 acres per year in the late 1990s and continuing the trend of decreasing urban development that began in the 2008 Great Recession.Read more
Researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Syracuse University (SU) will use a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to deepen our knowledge of the dangers of methylmercury, a toxic substance believed to be one of the most poisonous among the mercury compounds.
Rutgers researchers have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes – far faster than currently available laboratory-based tests, which take days. The affordable lab-on-a-chip device could also allow municipalities, water companies, universities, K-12 schools, daycares and homeowners to easily and swiftly test their water supplies. The research is published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.Read more
Companies seeking to commercialize seafood products made from the cells of fish or shellfish should use the term “cell-based” on product labels, according to a Rutgers study – the first of its kind – in the Journal of Food Science. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture require food products to have a “common or usual name” on their labels so consumers can make informed choices about what they’re purchasing.Read more
Older women who eat more than one to two servings a week of baked or broiled fish or shellfish may consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the effects of air pollution on the brain, according to a new study published in the July 15, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.Read more
Mangrove trees – valuable coastal ecosystems found in Florida and other warm climates – won’t survive sea-level rise by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t reduced, according to a Rutgers co-authored study in the journal Science. Mangrove forests store large amounts of carbon, help protect coastlines and provide habitat for fish and other species. Using sediment data from the last 10,000 years, an international team led by Macquarie University in Australia estimated the chances of mangrove survival based on rates of sea-level rise.Read more
Researchers investigate ‘PCB-like’ chemicals made by Mother NatureRead more
The advantages of animals foraging in an orderly group are well-known, but research by the University of Bristol has found an element of unruly adventure can help fish in the quest for food.Read more
Researchers, fisheries managers, conservationists, journalists and others can use FiCli to find scientific articles based on factors such as fish species, habitat type, location and type of climate change impact (such as a change in temperature or precipitation). Database: https://ficli.shinyapps.io/database/Read more
Nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s have helped scientists accurately estimate the age of whale sharks, the biggest fish in the seas, according to a Rutgers-led study. It’s the first time the age of this majestic species has been verified. One whale shark was an estimated 50 years old when it died, making it the oldest known of its kind. Another shark was an estimated 35 years old.Read more
A nuclear war that cooled Earth could worsen the impact of ocean acidification on corals, clams, oysters and other marine life with shells or skeletons, according to the first study of its kind.Read more
New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Olaf P. Jensen is available for interviews on new marine fisheries managementRead more
Fisheries acoustics have been studied for over 40 years to assess biomass and optimize aquaculture applications, and researchers in France have examined the phenomenon of how fish scatter acoustic waves in a dense school of fish contained in an open-sea cage. They developed an approach to help overcome issues encountered in aquaculture relating to the evaluation of the total biomass of dense schools of fish. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.Read more
While orders to “kill it immediately” have been making headlines recently in Georgia and South Carolina, the Northern Snakehead fishRead more
According to a new study published today [Nov. 4, 2019] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 40 years of reduced mercury use, emissions, and loading in the Great Lakes region have largely not produced equivalent declines in the amount of mercury accumulating in large game fish.Read more
New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 16, 2019) – Rutgers University environmental law expert Cymie R. Payne is available to comment onRead more
New Brunswick, N.J. (Sept. 25, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Malin Pinsky and Rutgers coastal expert Lisa Auermuller are availableRead more