News of the WeekFisheries Science

Ear Bones Reveal Homing Tendencies

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Science  12 Jan 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5502, pp. 227-229
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5502.227

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On page 297, researchers offer intriguing evidence that, contrary to common belief, weakfish do indeed have a strong homing instinct. The finding, based on a study of chemical isotopes bound up in the fishes' tiny ear bones, suggests that many marine fish populations may be more complex than once envisioned. The research could also prompt fisheries managers to rethink how they regulate catches and help conservationists design more effective marine reserves.