Overfishing of Atlantic Cod Likely Did Not Cause Genetic Changes

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.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

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.

COVID-19 Pandemic had Big Impact on Commercial Fishing in Northeast

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.

Planning Ahead Protects Fish and Fisheries

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.

Stunning Discovery Reveals Bonefish Dive 450 Feet ‘Deep’ into the Abyss to Spawn

Using active acoustic telemetry and sonar data, a study provides the first detailed documentation of a shallow water fish diving 450 feet deep to spawn. Prior research has shown that bonefish dive about 164 feet to spawn, but this new and unprecedented study reveals that they reached depths of 450 feet, and moved below 325 feet for two hours before spawning in a rush upward to 220 feet deep.

Ocean ‘breathability’ key to past, future habitat of West Coast marine species

Historical observations collected off California since the 1950s suggest that anchovies thrive where the water is breathable — a combination of the oxygen levels in the water and the species’ oxygen needs, which are affected by temperature. Future projections suggest that the waters off Mexico and Southern California could be uninhabitable by 2100.

Ocean’s ‘biological pump’ captures more carbon than expected

Scientists have long known that the ocean plays an essential role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere, but a new study from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that the efficiency of the ocean’s “biological carbon pump” has been drastically underestimated, with implications for future climate assessments.

Climate Change Could Threaten Sea Snails in Mid-Atlantic Waters

Climate change could threaten the survival and development of common whelk – a type of sea snail – in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a study led by scientists at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The common, or waved, whelk (Buccinum undatum) is an important commercial species that has been harvested for decades in Europe and Canada for bait and human consumption. Its habitat within the mid-Atlantic region is one of the Earth’s fastest warming marine areas and annual fluctuations in the bottom temperature are among the most extreme on the planet due to unique oceanographic conditions.

Global Cooling After Nuclear War Would Harm Ocean Life

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.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Global Fisheries Management Study

New Brunswick, N.J. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Olaf P. Jensen is available for interviews on new marine fisheries management research to be published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study is the most comprehensive…

Scientists Link Decline of Baltic Cod to Hypoxia – and Climate Change

If you want to know how climate change and hypoxia — the related loss of oxygen in the world’s oceans — affect fish species such as the economically important Baltic cod, all you have to do is ask the fish. Those cod, at least, will tell you that hypoxia is making them smaller, scrawnier and less valuable. A paper published today in the journal Biology Letters points to a link between hypoxia and fish well-being.

Fish Scattering Sound Waves Has Impact on Aquaculture

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.

Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Proposed High Seas Biodiversity Treaty

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 16, 2019) – Rutgers University environmental law expert Cymie R. Payne is available to comment on a proposed international treaty aimed at conserving high seas biodiversity. The treaty, which is under negotiations at the United Nations,…

FSU Researchers: Multifactor models reveal worse picture of climate change impact on marine life

Rising ocean temperatures have long been linked to negative impacts for marine life, but a Florida State University team has found that the long-term outlook for many marine species is much more complex — and possibly bleaker — than scientists previously believed.FSU doctoral student Jennifer McHenry, Assistant Professor of Geography Sarah Lester and collaborators with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) investigated how marine species’ habitats are likely to be affected by multiple factors associated with climate change such as ocean temperature, salinity and sea surface levels.