Thursday, 4 July 2013

200-Year-Old Fish Caught Off Alaska

In 1813, President James Madison occupied the White House, Americans occupied Fort George in Canada (a result of the War of 1812) and a rockfish was born somewhere in the North Pacific.

Two hundred years later, that same rockfish was caught off the coast of Alaska by Seattle resident Henry Liebman — possibly setting a record for the oldest rockfish ever landed.

Troy Tydingco of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game told the Daily Sitka Sentinel that the longevity record for the shortraker rockfish (Sebastes borealis) is 175 years, but that fish "was quite a bit smaller than the one Henry caught."
CREDIT: NOAA 

"That fish was 32-and-a-half inches [83 centimeters] long, where Henry's was almost 41 inches [104 cm] — so his could be substantially older," Tydingco said.

Samples of the rockfish have been sent to a lab in Juneau, where the actual age of Liebman's fish will be determined, according to the Sentinel.

Scientists can estimate the age of a fish by examining an ear bone known as the otolith, which contains growth rings similar to the annual age rings found in a tree trunk.

Animal longevity remains a puzzle to biologists. Some researchers have found that smaller individuals within a species tend to live longer than their bigger brethren. This may be due to the abnormal cell growth that accompanies both larger body size and the risk of cancer.



Oh well, not going to make it to 201 then......

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