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Joel Llopiz with fish scale

Tipping the Scales

WHOI biologist Joel Llopiz holds a single haddock scale collected in the 1930s, one of millions of fish scales filed at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole. By analyzing the proportions of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the scales, Llopiz and colleague Simon Thorrold are learning about what the fish were eating and whether changes to their ecosystem might be contributing to recent declines in the fisheries. The NOAA facility collects and catalogs more than 100,000 samples from over 30 commercially important fish species every year. (Photo by Daniel Cojanu for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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