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Old fish few and far between under fishing pressure

A bright orange fish fish swimming in dark water near the rocky ocean floor.

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. 

Read more at UW Today »

Q&A: How Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Yellowstone National Park are confronting climate change

Snowcapped mountains in the distance with a wooden barn in foreground.

The Northern Rocky Mountain ecosystem includes huge swaths of federal lands, two national parks and some of the most spectacular wild spaces in the country. University of Washington researchers are helping managers of those lands prepare for a shifting climate. “Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems,” a book published in August, was edited by Jessica Halofsky, a UW research ecologist in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, and David Peterson, a senior research biologist with the U.S. 

Read the UW Today Q&A »

Invasive lionfish feasts on new Caribbean fish species

Researcher Luke Tornabene entering a submarine.

Caribbean coral reefs have been invaded by lionfish, showy predators with venomous spines. And they’ve found a new market to exploit: the ocean’s “twilight zone” — an area below traditional SCUBA diving depths, where little is known about the reefs or the species that inhabit them. Researchers from the University of Washington and Smithsonian Institution have reported the first observed case of lionfish preying upon a fish species that had not yet been named. 

Read more at UW Today »