Monday June 5, 2023

Seafood Source

New genetic evidence suggests the overfishing of cod in the 1900s led the fish to rapidly evolve over decades, according to a study led by Rutgers University.

The study, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, shows that the collapse of cod stocks in the Atlantic due to overfishing may have spurred genetic changes that were previously thought to take place over millions of years.

“We have now been able to demonstrate that many genes throughout the genome did shift in the same way in cod from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean over the past 100 years,” Brendan Reid, one of the authors and a postdoctoral associate in Rutgers’ department of ecology, evolution, and natural resources. “This suggests that cod did indeed evolve in response to fishing through small changes in many genes, something we didn’t have clear evidence for before in any overfished species.”

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