What fish ears can tell us about sex, surveillance and sustainability

Below is a press release about the Methods paper, ‘Quantifying physiological influences on otolith microchemistry, from the University of Southampton:

Dr Anna Sturrock blood sampling plaice ©Anna Sturrock

Dr Anna Sturrock blood sampling plaice ©Anna Sturrock

Scientists at the University of Southampton have found a way to pry into the private lives of fish – by looking in their ears!

By studying ear stones in fish, which act as tiny data recorders, scientists can now reveal migration patterns and even provide insights into their sex life.

Managing fish stocks in a sustainable way is a major challenge facing scientists, conservationists, policy makers and fishermen. To get the best results, accurate information about the movements of fish in the wild is needed but gathering this information is extremely difficult. Continue reading