A new use for museum fish specimens

A new use for museum fish specimens

A new use for museum fish specimens

Preserved specimens. Image by Merryjack, Flickr.


The discoloured fish that rest in glass jars in museums across the world are normally used by specialists as references to study the traits that identify certain species. But a new study proposes an additional use for such ‘samples.’

Published in the Journal of Applied Ichthyology, the paper proposes using such specimens to estimate the length-weight relationships of fish that are hard to find alive in their natural environment.

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the sea around us turns 20

Sea Around Us celebrated 20 years with successful symposium

After months of planning, on June 27-28 the Sea Around Us celebrated its 20th anniversary with a couple of successful events that strengthened the group’s relationship with researchers and civil society.

On June 27, 2019, the team hosted an informal reception that gathered students, staff, alumni, researchers from around the globe, representatives from the French consulate in Vancouver, colleagues from UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), delegates from different departments at the University of British Columbia, among other attendees.

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Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Thoughts on UBC’s Reconciliation Totem Pole

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Photo by Nicolas Bailly

Text by Daniel Pauly

On April 1, 2017, a 17 m totem pole was raised at the south end of the University of British Columbia’s Main Mall. It is the Reconciliation Pole carved by Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief James Hart.

Hundreds of Vancouverites gathered for the event, which started at 1 p.m. with speeches by various First Nations dignitaries and dances. It was only shortly before 5 p.m. that the crowd -to which I belonged- on the small amphitheater to the south of the pole, was called on to tighten up the ropes that were laid along the field and connected to the semi-raised pole which was still resting on scaffolding.

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Cautious fish evolve out of marine reserves

Photo by Matana_and_Jes, Flickr

Photo by Matana_and_Jes, Flickr

New research supports the creation of more marine reserves in the world’s oceans because, the authors say, fish can evolve to be more cautious and stay away from fishing nets.

The research suggests that by creating additional “no-take” areas, some fish will stay within marine reserves where they are protected from fishing. While other fish will move around the ocean, these less mobile fish will continue to live in the protected areas, pass this behaviour on to their offspring, and contribute to future generations, increasing the overall stock.

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