Thursday June 1, 2023


Codfish have been telling a story of rapid fish evolution, reshaped by human activity more swiftly than previously assumed, reveals a cutting-edge study led by Rutgers University.

This evolutionary tale, illuminated during the latter half of the twentieth century, signifies the impact of human-driven overfishing. The findings suggest that evolutionary changes, once thought to span millions of years, can be catalyzed within mere decades. 

The report, sharing the first genomic evidence of such accelerated evolution in Atlantic cod, has recently been published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

“We broke new ground,” explained study senior author Malin Pinsky. Leveraging modern technology, the researchers unearthed the genetic code of codfish caught over a century ago, unveiling subtle genetic shifts. 

Pinsky, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), emphasizes that these new techniques played a pivotal role in the discovery.

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