Shifting Baselines


Call them Pavlov’s fish: Scientists are testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time. If it works, the system could eventually allow black sea bass to be released into the open ocean, where they would grow to market size, then swim into an underwater cage to be harvested when they hear the signal.

Check out the full story at the CBC.

This particular experiment might seem harmless fun setting fish out to pasture, in the big picture, does evoke the rapid, large-scale domestication of marine species that has occurred over the last decade. Of the aquatic species presently in culture, 430 (or 97%) have been domesticated since the start of the 20th century and, in the last decade, an estimated 106 species haven been domesticated.

Black sea bass might behave like dogs but they are not dogs, which were domesticated 20,000 years ago. What will happen to our wild seas? Will fish soon be fetching frisbees? This study gives new meaning to the “dog faced pufferfish”…



  1. #1 Liz Slavik
    August 13, 2008

    Lets take our fish for a walk!
    Love Liz
    Let me know if you see this, if not, go to
    Click on Images up at the top left side of main screen
    Type in Giant Dogface puffer fish
    Scroll down.

  2. #2 Anonymous
    December 6, 2010

    I think that fish is kinder cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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