News FocusMARINE BIOLOGY

Putting Rockfish Back Where They Belong

Science  02 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6107, pp. 600-601
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6107.600

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Summary

When rockfish are hauled up from deep waters, the gas in their swim bladder swells with the pressure change, often triggering dramatic symptoms and leaving the fish too buoyant to swim back down. Barotrauma has traditionally led fishers and biologists to think that these "floaters" were goners. But over the last decade, a growing body of studies and dramatic underwater research videos has shown that barotrauma can largely be reversed. Voluntary use of recompression tackle might also help restore some depleted fish stocks and ease regulations.

  • * Ingfei Chen is a writer in Santa Cruz, California.