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Catch quality and access to markets drives economic performance in tuna fisheries

Tuna fisheries supply nutrients, food, employment, and other economic benefits to coastal states and global industrial fleets. A new analysis now examines the causes for variability in economic performance among regions and management types through Fishery Performance Indicators, which score performance on 68 questions answered on a scale from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). Benefits were greatest for tuna caught for canning and for sashimi (raw fish) markets, since these were the highest quality fish, and had access to the most valuable markets; and success was largely determined by the post-harvest sector. 

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DNA editing could transform ecology and conservation

Recent advances allow for the editing of any part of the DNA of individuals (their genome), offering a chance for ecologists and conservationists to radically transform individuals and ecosystems, as outlined in a new review. The new genome-editing tools are being driven by technology called CRISPR that allows for the precise editing of DNA letters coding for key genes within an organism. 

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Centennial Story 92: Tom Nishida (BS, 1979; MS, 1983)

SIOFA stock assessment working group meeting (Yokohama) (March, 2019) Australia, Cook Islands, EU, Korea, Japan, France (overseas territories), Mauritius, Thailand, Seychelles, Secretariat and observers (FAO, Industries and Environmental group) (Tom: center with the SIOFA flag)

I have good memories of my time at the College of Fisheries; I made many friends and had excellent sensei (teachers) (Doug Gregory, Joan Hardy, David Fluharty, Marcus Duke, Loh-Lee Low [BS, 1970; MS 1972; PhD, 1974), Dan Ito [BS, 1979; MS, 1982; PhD, 1999], Loveday Conquest, Marianna Alexandersdottir, Steve Millard, Al Shimada [BS, 1978] and many others). I also had good experiences as a student helper for Don Bevan (I was assigned to the ADF&G, Kodiak Island office in summer) and for Ric Fleming (College of Oceanography). I also gained experience as both a TA and an RA. I enjoyed my private life, which included an American girlfriend from Renton, being a member and a trumpeter in the Seattle Japanese Baptist Church on Capital Hill (AFSC’s Don Kimura-san’s family was there), acting as a weekend math and science teacher at the Seattle Japanese School on Beacon Hill, and shopping for Japanese foods (sake is my fuel) at Uwajimaya. To make my dream to stay in the USA possible, I applied for a biometrician post at ADF&G, but was not offered the position, although I was one of the finalists. After 10 years in the USA and no job because of the competitive market, it was time to look internationally.

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Centennial Story 91: Alan J. Mearns (PhD, 1971)

Lynwood Smith looks on at a catheterized adult salmon cruising in the swimming respirometer.

My work on the swimming physiology of adult salmon largely took place in the field, aboard a brand new floating laboratory, the R/V Kumtuks. “Kumtuks” means “to know or to understand” in native Chinook jargon. So later that year when Lynwood launched the new floating laboratory, Dean Richard Van Cleve christened it the R/V Kumtuks.

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Centennial Story 90: James R. Karr, Professor, 1991–2006 (Emeritus, 2006–present)

Jim Karr with a snake in 1978

Some of us cannot help doing in retirement what we’ve loved doing throughout our working lives—indeed, since childhood. When I was a boy, I treasured exploring and learning about Ohio’s forests, fields, and streams; I kept exploring regional ecological systems in the Pacific Northwest on arriving at UW in 1991; and after becoming emeritus in 2006, I am still happiest exploring, learning, and teaching.

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Centennial Story 89: Lorenzo Cianelli (PhD, 2002)

Lorenzo and his son (Luca) and I on the OSU R/V Elakha, in the Yaquina Bay.

More than 15 years after graduating, I am constantly reminded of my time at SAFS. I often drive to Seattle for work, and I intentionally time my drive so that I can avoid traffic, which inevitably means driving through the night. Approaching Seattle at night from the south is fascinating. The city skyline evokes memories. The sight of the SAFS building from the I-5 Bridge gives me the odd sensation of being at home, but far from it. I like and cherish this feeling. I am reminded of homing fish, coming back to familiar grounds. Happy anniversary SAFS!

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Parasites lost: using natural history collections to track disease change

Tracking changes in diseases over time is an increasingly important topic given changes in global temperature. Put simply, is a warmer world a sicker world? Reported rates of disease may increase over time but it is difficult to distinguish between better reporting of disease, and true increases in disease prevalence. A new study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment now highlights the critical role of natural history collections, which contain many millions of specimens, in piecing together true rates of disease over deep time (many centuries). 

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How many beluga whales are there in that school? A new method.

Smaller species of swimming marine mammals are often hard to count because they might be present in ones or twos or in groups of hundreds of individuals. Typical survey methods face multiple types of bias when trying to count total numbers because some individuals are missed. For aerial surveys, this is particularly problematic: individuals in a school can be missed because they are diving, too close to other individuals to be seen, or too far away to be detected in photographs or videos. 

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Sea otters diversify their diets as their numbers grow

Due to hunting, sea otters were extirpated from most of their former range, including all of Washington state. In 1969 and 1970 a small group of 59 sea otters from Amchitka Island, Alaska, were reintroduced to the outer coast of Washington state, where they have since flourished to more than 2000 individuals. As their numbers have increased, they have expanded along the coast, resulting in a patchwork of locations containing sea otters that have been present in each location for differing lengths of time and at a range of densities. 

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Our Watery Worlds: UW Aquatic Science Open House

A family looks at a table exhibit during the UW Aquatic Science Open House

When: May 4th, 2019 from 1-4 pm
Locations: Fishery Sciences Building (FSH), 1122 Boat Street, Seattle, WA 98105;
Ocean Sciences Building (OSB), 1492 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105
Cost: FREE!
Come join us for a free and family-friendly afternoon of hands-on learning at Our Watery World, the second annual aquatic science open house at the UW to celebrate science and research that relates to water. 

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