The fish whisperers

The fish whisperers
Date:30 June 2008 Tags:

It may not be sporting, but researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, are training fish to swim into nets – and doom themselves to the lemon-and-capers treatment.

Last year, 6 500 confined black sea bass were exposed to a specific sound each time they were fed. In true Pavlovian fashion, the fish learned to gather for their meals on cue.

Next, researchers plan to sink an “AquaDome” – a 9,7 m-wide, 4,9 m-tall cage of steel mesh held in place by five 450 kg anchors – in a popular bass hangout in a bay near Boston. There, 5 000 bass will be fed with a solar-powered automated feeder that emits tones like a dinner bell. The fish will be trained until October, when they’ll face their final roundup.

Success could mean reduced cost to fish farmers and less waste concentrated in one area.

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