Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Foiling fugitive fish

21.02.2005


A leading Canadian fish farming scientist is stirring the scientific waters by arguing that it may be safer to risk introducing exotic salmon into a marine ecosystem than to farm native ones there.

"The biggest environmental danger we face from salmon escapes is when farming species within their native range, such as Atlantic salmon in the Atlantic Ocean," says Dr. Ian Fleming, Director of the Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

He is presenting the results of his latest research on the risks of fugitive farmed fish at the 2005 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington D.C. on February 18. The work was supported by Science and Engineering Research Canada (NSERC).



Fish raised in large ocean pens have genetic traits that make them distinct from their wild counterparts. This has led critics of the fish farming industry to argue that farmed fish that break free – a common occurrence – might breed with native ones, perhaps compromising the health of the entire species and threatening its ability to survive in its natural setting.

Dr. Fleming says the key to avoiding this real ecological danger is to break what is normally considered a biological taboo: deliberately introducing a new species into an ecosystem. "The real issue is a fascinating one – it’s to analyze if it is actually better to be farming Atlantic salmon on the West Coast rather than farming Pacific salmon there," says Dr. Fleming. "That might be considered a heretical idea, in the sense that we would be introducing an exotic species into the Pacific, and all our knowledge of invasive species suggests that we shouldn’t do that. But with salmonids, particularly Atlantic salmon, there are indications that that might not be such a bad idea."

Atlantic and Pacific salmon do not interbreed successfully. If escapees find themselves on the opposite coast, this substantially reduces the likelihood that they will ecologically overwhelm local salmon populations.

With the rapid growth of ocean fish farming along the world’s coastlines, and a general desire to limit the ecological impact of this activity, Dr. Fleming says there’s presently more scientific and public interest in finding solutions, whatever they might be.

"There’s more of a consensus on trying to work toward solutions rather than arguing over whether there is a problem or not," explains Dr. Fleming. "Making fish farming more sustainable is certainly in everyone’s better interests."

Dr. Fleming himself is a transplant from the West Coast. He was previously an Associate Professor at the Coastal Marine Experiment Station and Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, before moving to the Ocean Sciences Centre in the summer of 2004.

His interest in fish farming started 15 years ago when he began doctoral work on fish evolution. "I thought of hatcheries as an experiment that’s being done for me," says Dr. Fleming, who spent a decade studying such facilities in Norway. That country has the largest salmon farming industry in the world.

The Ocean Sciences Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland is a key North American venue for fish farming research, with 11 full-time faculty members, along with a similar number of adjunct and cross-appointed professors, and dozens of graduate students

Dr. Ian Flemming | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mun.ca
http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>