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Fish scale research

Tale of the Scales

WHOI biologist Joel Llopiz examines scales of haddock collected on annual surveys by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service to assess fish stocks. The scales, dating back to the 1930s, are preserved in a warehouse on Cape Cod. Llopiz and WHOI colleague Simon Thorrold are analyzing chemical isotopes in the scales to understand how and why the ecosystem may have changed on Georges Bank, one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds. The research offers a new approach for fisheries managers to look beyond fishing pressure and consider environmental factors, species interactions, and the health of entire ecosystems in their decision-making. (Photo by Daniel Cojanu, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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