Can fish feel pain?

By Fiona Graham, RJD Intern

Pain and suffering in fishes has been a hotly debated topic throughout the past, especially in the context of angling. While previous research has stated that fish might indeed feel pain, the authors of this paper decisively contradict these studies. This paper by Rose and colleagues details a comprehensive literature review and analysis of past studies claiming that fish feel pain. Specifically, they focus on deficiencies in the methods used for pain identification, and invalidating claims for consciousness in fishes.

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The effects of human population density on coral reef fish

By Brittany Bartlett, RJD Intern

Coral reef fisheries are extremely important to the livelihoods of millions of people. Unfortunately, habitat degradation and unsustainable fishing practices have resulted in a decline in these fisheries. Therefore, a recently published article by T.D Brewer et al. entitled “Effects of Human Population Density and Proximity to Markets on Coral Reef Fishes Vulnerable to Extinction by Fishing” seeks to understand the social and economic issues behind this depletion in order to improve management.

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Coral Reef Management in a Changing Climate

by Laurel Zaima, RJD Intern

Ecological disruptions have been occurring at an alarming rate and have been affecting many sensitive marine organisms. Fortunately, the coral reefs have been fairly resilient to the climate change; however, these disturbances have created a high demand for solutions to conserve the resilience of the coral reef. The scientists of the Prioritizing Key Resilience Indicators to Support Coral Reef Management in a Changing Climate conservation research paper conducted experiments in an Indonesian protected area to understand the coral reef’s level of resilience and the human power to help the coral’s resilience and recovery to the climate changes. The definition of resilience is “the capacity of an ecosystem to absorb recurrent disturbances or shocks and adapt to change while retaining essentially the same function and structure” (McClanahan et. al., 2). Resistance and recovery are the focus of the experiment because they are tangible aspects of resilience.

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