Accidental Breakthrough: An Unexpected Laboratory Hybrid of a Critically Endangered Fish Species

Sometimes scientific breakthroughs happen by sheer accident. That was certainly the case with scientists studying the Russian sturgeon. An unexpectedly successful cross-species breeding experiment resulted in the first documented surviving hybrids of Russian sturgeon and American paddlefish. This opens new doors and frontiers for fish genetics, aquaculture, and potential survival strategies for critically endangered sturgeon species.

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Warming oceans may affect the reproductive success of many fish species

Up to 60 percent of all fish species may eventually be forced to find new mating areas due to traditional areas becoming too warm for them. By studying fish species from all over the world, experts released a new report suggesting that many fish have a low tolerance for heat during mating. Water temperature may have a larger than previously acknowledged effect on fish reproduction success. If global warming continues, fish populations may not be as strong or as plentiful as they once were unless they find new mating locations.

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A sucker for ecosystem engineers

Sonoran suckers, like other ecosystem engineers like beavers or salmon, substantially influence the spatial and temporal distribution of their environment’s resources. These fish create divots in soft sediments during their nightly feeding rounds in shallow waters far from where they seek refuge during the day. This feeding and these divots contribute heavily to shaping patterns of aquatic insects and suspended sediment in the Gila River, establishing the suckers as important ecosystem engineers in the river.

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Holding Your Breath: Surviving the Heart of Marine Darkness

As you swim through a coral reef, you see parrot fish, clams and other colorful aquatic creatures swimming elegantly and going about their lives. While you, with your snorkel, are confined to the surface of the water and the occasional dive for as long and as deep as you can hold your breath, the fish “breathe” easily with their gills (or lungs in the cases of some evolutionarily interesting fish). But do they breathe that easily? Living in and getting oxygen from a high-pressure aquatic environment is difficult and metabolically demanding, and some fish have found special ways to make it easier.

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Moving Closer to Plenty Of Fish In The Sea: Gradual Recovery Of A Critically Endangered Fish Species

The Nassau grouper has long been critically endangered due to overfishing throughout its Caribbean range. The Cayman Islands government instituted a comprehensive program to boost Nassau grouper numbers, and partnered with scientists and conservation organizations in a project to monitor the grouper population. Over the fifteen year program, the fish population has increased. The program and project provide successful models for marine conservation partnerships.

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Are we accidentally treating fish with anti-depressants? Pharmaceuticals in our surface waters

The ever-growing and expanding pharmaceutical industry is overwhelming wastewater treatment plants, making the release of pharmaceuticals into the environment a big problem. A recent study illustrates that the presence of anti-depressants in streams can change the behavior of mosquitofish. The potential effects of pharmaceutical pollution on wildlife should make us think carefully about how we dispose of our leftover medicines.

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These tasty fish are more likely to get eaten when stressed

As human populations continue to rise, especially along coastlines, the occurrence of various stressors tend to increase. This study explored the ability of a commercially important species, the European seabass, to recover following short term exposure to these stressors by evaluating their predator avoidance behavior. In short, acidic waters led to greater risk-taking behavior in these fish, which can have serious implications for their survival in a changing world.

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