SAFS postdoc Lewis Barnett and professors Trevor Branch and Tim Essington are featured in UW Today:
‘Like old-growth trees in a forest, old fish in the ocean play important roles in the diversity and stability of marine ecosystems. Critically, the longer a fish is allowed to live, the more likely it is to successfully reproduce over the course of its lifetime, which is particularly important in variable environmental conditions.
A new study by University of Washington scientists has found that, for dozens of fish populations around the globe, old fish are greatly depleted — mainly because of fishing pressure. The paper, published online Sept. 14 in Current Biology, is the first to report that old fish are missing in many populations around the world.
“From our perspective, having a broad age structure provides more chances at getting that right combination of when and where to reproduce,” said lead author Lewis Barnett, a UW postdoctoral researcher at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.’