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Clever video aims to reduce rockfish deaths from barotrauma

Posted by: | February 13, 2013 Comments Off |

This clever video  uses a catchy rap tune, a wise-cracking puppet and some simple, practical instructions to engage fishermen in protecting rockfish from dying of barotrauma, by reaching them how to return their excess catch to the deeps – alive.

Barotrauma results when a rockfish is caught and hauled rapidly to the surface and its internal, air-filled swim bladder expands, often causing the animal’s eyes to bulge and even pushing its stomach out of its mouth. If thrown back in the water, the inflated bladder can cause the fish to float, making it easy prey for seabirds and other hungry animals.

But if the animal can be returned to the deeps quickly, water pressure will often reverse the expansion, allowing the  fish to survive. The video demonstrates a number of effective tools – home-made and commercial – for getting the fish back to the bottom quickly and with as little harm as possible.

The video, funded in part by California Sea Grant, was produced by a team including Alena Pribyl, a NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center researcher who earned her PhD. at Oregon State University while studying barotrauma.

under: fisheries, marine education, marine science, NOAA, research, videos

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