21 Dec '11, 4pm

Unfit Salmon and 'Plain Old Darwinian Selection'

Unfit Salmon and 'Plain Old Darwinian Selection'

John McMillan, Oregon State University Steelhead salmon may adjust quickly to captivity, to the detriment of offspring released into the wild. Captive-born salmon waste no time making themselves at home. In crowded aquaculture tanks, they outperform wild counterparts in survival and reproduction — great news if you’re a salmon farmer. But these changes come at a cost. The more capable a salmon is of thriving in captivity, the less capable it is of succeeding in the wild. Billions of hatchery-raised fish are released each year to aid ailing wild populations. Researchers have long known that salmon born in captivity under-perform in the wild but were not sure why. According to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it is basically a matter of evolution — and it occurs at a surprisingly fast pace. “The news is that we’ve identified the ...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/unfit-salmon-an...

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