Fish Update Briefing Friday December 18

FISH may be able to feel pain, according to a new study. Research published by the Proceedings of the Royal Society says that fish could have emotions. Scientists from the Institute of Aquaculture found that zebrafish responded to stress with what is known as an ’emotional fever’, or a rise in body temperature. The researchers used six groups of zebrafish in the study. They placed them in tanks divided by plexiglass into six chambers, each containing water of a different temperature. The chambers were still interconnected so that the fish could swim between them.The researchers found that the confined groups swam to the chambers containing warmer waters, but the unconfined groups stayed where they were. By going into warmer water, the stressed fish raised their body temperatures a full 1-2 degrees.
VITAMIN A found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines could help in the fight against bowel cancer, a report in the journal Cancer Cell  indicates. Bowel cancer is a major problem in the UK with about 40,000 cases diagnosed each year, leading to 16,000 deaths. Cancer Cell says vitamin A, also known as Retinol, triggers a protein which can kill the turmours. The Journal says cheese and milk are also good sources of Vitamin A. The study was carried out at the Ecole Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
INCOME from Icelandic fish catches in August this year, the latest month for which figures are available, rose by three per cent to 12.2 billion Icelandic kroners (ISK). The value of the demersal catch was nearly ISK 5.9 billion, an increase of 27.3 per cent, but revenue from pelagic catches fell by just over 24 per cent to ISK 5.1 billion, mainly due to lower mackerel returns. Income from shellfish rose from ISK 275 million to ISK 318 million. But the sharpest rise was in the value of flatfish – up from ISK 150 million in August 2014 to ISK 822 million this year.
A NEW scientific study has shown that the big 1964 Alaska earthquakewhich measured 9.2 in magnitude, sped up the evolution process for a tiny saltwater fish species, forcing it to radically change its physical features over a 50-year period so that it could survive in freshwater. Researchers from the University of Oregon and the University of Alaska studied changes in a small  fish known as the threespine stickleback which is found in seawater. They found these fish experienced changes to their genes, shape, colour and eyes as they tried to adapt to their new situation. The results of the study are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,