by Michele Heller

The road towards the ocean is pitch black and void of life, save for a pair of headlights coming towards you. You wonder where that car could be heading at 3am, and then with a slight grin, assume they’re probably going fishing too.

Just as you pull up to the dock, the boat roars to life. The adrenaline kicks in and then settles as you hear the put puttering of the idling boats engine. …

Three years in the making: Field research documents how sailfish migrate through vast areas of the Atlantic ocean

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Lilly Mendillo of Keen M International checking on a recently tagged sailfish.

When science is selectively used for pushing an agenda, you see the ugly side of conservation activism for the Atlantic bluefin tuna.

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Waiting for the bite. Cooperative research on Atlantic bluefin tuna with Canadian fishermen.

I’d like to think that it’s not personal. I like to think it’s because an environmental writer needs to make a living and sell his books, any way he/she can. And needs to rack up awards for saving the planet, or the fish, or the sea turtles…

In science, there’s always disagreement among experts and well-respected, conscientious non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on tough questions. We are used to that. And we work things out as a team using objective scientific methods and evidence. A good scientist should be ready to make mistakes, to be wrong sometimes, to be called out, or to miss something obvious that someone else runs with and gets credit for. Or to get lucky with research, to be in the right place at the right time - we experience it all. And women scientists that make it all the way to professional positions most likely have already been hit on or harassed or received unfair treatment, because there are fewer of us. Women scientists know plenty of these stories. …

First appeared in

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Striped marlin is priced all over the world as an acrobatic and feisty opponent to any sport fisher, and represents a commercially important catch in some countries and a delicacy in the Asian sashimi market. Found throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, striped marlin stays mostly within the mixed layer and near the sea surface, where sun-lit waters often provide the best conditions for this visual predator to chase down sardines, anchovies and mackerels. A strong preference of striped marlin and their billfish cousins to the epipelagic zone provides too simple a research subject for many fish biologists. It is not uncommon to hear any seasoned scientists remarking about how “boring” a billfish is when it just hangs out near the surface. …

Bluefin tuna pose as a serious challenger.

Speed, that is what is important. — Glenn Gould

Determining the fastest fish in the ocean is not easy. There is a large body of research conducted by placing various fish species in swim tunnels where flow and water velocity are monitored and controlled. With that, you can only measure sustained swimming speed, which is biologically important in terms of energy use and growth, but does not help us in determining who’s the fastest fish in the ocean. …


Tuna Lab @Large Pelagics

We are the Large Pelagics Research Center in Gloucester, MA lead by Dr. Molly Lutcavage at the School for the Environment, University of Massachusetts Boston

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