Snorkeling rivers to count escaped farmed salmon
SHARE YOUR SCIENCE: Mission: Find out how many farmed salmon have escaped into the wild, threatening populations of wild salmon. Scientific method: Snorkeling.
In my career as a researcher and head of food research I have been met with quizzical looks many times. Is it possible to research food? Most people see the need to understand more about nutrition and the body’s need for nutrients. But what else could there be to research?
“If you get sick and need to throw up, that’s fine, but if you don’t then that’s fine too,” says the skipper, laughing through his big smile, before setting off on the voyage taking nine excited business professionals and R&D representatives out on his boat towards the open sea. The location is Macau in northern Brazil. The goal: to harvest flying fish roe.
The amount of fish in the world is being reassessed upwards. Some ten billion tonnes of fish that live at depths down to a kilometre are not fished at all. A University of Bergen professor thinks this biomass will be much more important for humankind in the future.
Cod migrate from the Barents Sea to the Lofoten Islands in North Norway to spawn every winter. The fishing season for these large spawning cod, called skrei in Norwegian, is currently open. A traditional North Norwegian serving of the fish is a super source of vitamin D.
Zebrafish have been used as a research standard to help scientists expand our understanding of everything from skin cancers to cardiovascular disease. But one Norwegian researcher cautions that research that relies on zebrafish might be less reliable because the fish are not fed a standardised diet.