Thursday, 1 August 2013

Aquatic Playground Can Turn Water Tanks Into Fish Schools

July 30, 2013 — Raising fish in tanks that contain hiding places and other obstacles can make the fish both smarter and improve their chances of survival when they are released into the wild, according to an international team of researchers.

"It's a key problem in that we are very good at rearing fish, but we're really not very good at releasing those animals in the wild such that they survive," said Victoria Braithwaite, professor of fisheries and biology, Penn State. "There's a mismatch between the way we raise them and the real world."

Juvenile Atlantic salmon raised in tanks that including pebble and rock hiding places and floating artificial plants were better able to navigate mazes and showed signs of improved brain function compared to the salmon reared in standard hatchery tanks, Braithwaite said. This may help conservation fish hatcheries raise and release fish that are better adapted to survive in the wild.

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