All posts by scgross

Kodiak’s State Season Jig Cod Fishermen to Haul in Pollock for First Time



This article was about how the Jig Fleet in Kodiak will be able to fish for Pollock during what has traditionally been their Pacific Cod season. This is a the first year they will be allowing fishermen to Jig for Pollock in State as opposed to federal waters and it is considered a “test fishery’. This decision came as result of requests made my Kodiak jig fishermen to the Alaska Board of Fish, who created these provisions during their meeting in January. In the past, openings for Pollock fishing in federal waters occurred during the winter when the jig fleet was unlikely to participate. Any Pollock caught during their Pacific Cod fishing season was considered by catch and fishermen were unable to deliver it along with their cod. The data from this test fishery will inform decisions made by the board during their next session about a more permanent Pollock fishery in state waters.

I found this article interesting after learning that Pollock was such a huge international fishery in this weeks lecture. Obviously this smaller fleet, using jig gear instead of more traditional methods for catching Pollock (such as trawls) will bring in a much smaller volume of fish than fisherman in other parts of the world. I wonder if this will create a new market for Pollock-a higher quality product, maybe at a higher price? This situation exists for salmon in Southeast (Troll vs. Gillnet caught salmon for instance) and it will be interesting to see if Kodiak Jig Caught Pollock will create a more diversified market. Other unknowns might prove detrimental to fishermen like the fact that this fishery is occurring during a time of the year when major processors don’t traditionally buy Pollock could prove to be an issue for the fishermen.

Fish Radio with Laine Welch


Solving an Evolutionary Puzzle: Atlantic Killifish Thriving in Highly Polluted Water


This article was about how Atlantic Killifish have adapted biochemically to living in a toxic habitat, specifically that of New Bedford Harbor in Massachusetts. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute biologist and paper coauthor says about these findings: “It’s an example of how some populations are able to adapt to changes in their environment–a snapshot of evolution at work.’

Researchers have found, through two separate studies of the fish in and around New Bedford, that the Killifishes’ unique tolerance to pollution is due to changes–mutations?–in a receptor protein called AHR2. AHR2 controls the breakdown and processing of certain pollutants in the fish’s body–in this case heavy metals and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB’s). Toxicity can occur when the contaminants that don’t get completely broken down continue to stimulate the AHR2 protein. This overstimulation does not occur in the New Bedford Killifish because, as Marc Hahn says, “The killifish have managed to shut down the pathway.’

Scientists theorize that this change in AHR2 protein occurred because of the killifishes constant exposure to the contaminated soil of the New Bedford Harbor. Killifish don’t migrate. “They live their whole lives in the same area, generally within a few hundred yards o


f the spot where they were hatched…the killifish are there year round and spend winters burrowing into the contaminated sediment.’

While at first discovery the adaptations of the killifish might seem advantageous for their current survival, they might not be great for their long-term fitness. “Despite their healthy appearance, there could be unknown negative costs for the New Bedford Harbor killifish associated with the resistance to PCBs. Researchers will look at whether the adaptation affects how the killifish are able to respond to other kinds of stressors in their environment, such as low oxygen levels.’ Also, the question of raised as to what would happen if and when the harbor were to be cleaned up. Would this mutation suddenly become disadvantageous for the killifish? Another consideration is how these contaminants will affect the organisms that eat the killifish–organisms that don’t have the same pollution-protecting genes. These organisms include fish such as bluefish and striped bass–fish that are both commonly eaten by humans.

Sources Cited:

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Solving an evolutionary puzzle: Atlantic killifish thriving in highly polluted water.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <>.