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.