Built for a life under water
Do fish drink water?
An oft- repeated question about the fact regarding fishes living in water is ’Do fish drink water’. Many of us are curious to know the reply.
The answer is “Yes” & ‘No”
While the freshwater fish doesn’t drink water- the marine fish drinks large quantities of water.
Since the liquid in a freshwater fish’s body is saltier
(dense) than the surrounding water, the freshwater fish is in constant danger of soaking up water and swelling. As a result it doesn’t
drink water and what ever water enters in fish body through skin & gills is carried to the kidney and used to flush out waste products in large
quantities of urine.
The marine (Salt-water) fish has exactly the opposite
Salt-water fish’s liquids are less salty
(dense) than surrounding water and fish is in constant danger of dehydration. Thus the salt-water fish have to drink large quantities of water
to make up for what it loses through its gills & skin. Some of the salt that it receives goes through the digestive tract and is excreted. While some
salt that it receives is passed through special gill cells back into the ocean. A salt-water fish seldom
How Fishes Swim?
Though shapes of fishes differ widely but in general they are boat shaped which facilitate their movement in
water. For a fish to move through aquatic medium, which is incompressible, it actually push it aside. The fish can do this by wiggling back & forth in a
snake like motion, pushing water aside by the forward motion of its head, first to the left than do the right, also with the curve of its body and finally
with its flexible tail. The water, tending to return to its original position, now flows back along the fish’s narrowing side, closing in at the tail
and helping the fish to move forward.
Skate and rays move by undulation of their greatly enlarged sidefins, which gives them appearance of flying through water some flattened fish
crawl on the bottom like sea robin while some crawl right out of the water on the beach like mud skipper. The climbing perch and snakehead travel overland
from pond to pond on their forefins. Some fishes can fly in the air. They can skim above the water for nearly a minute and if there is good breeze to lift
them up they may reach a height of 10-20 feet, planing from wave to wave with their greatly extended forefins held rigidly out like wings.
How A Fish Sees?
Most of us are aware that seeing under water is a different matter from seeing in the air. Light is diffused
and quickly fades to a dim twilight zone. Even in clear water only relatively close objects can be sharply focussed. But this is the environment, the eyes of fishes must cope with, and their adaptation to the medium is extremely ingenious. Their
primary need is to see movements and nearby shapes- and this they do to perfection with their eyes set on the side of their head, many of the fishes can
practically register every thing that moves around them at any time. Needing no eyelids or tear ducts in their liquid medium, they have evolved ways of
coping with varying amount of light.
The eyes of most of the fishes are placed so widely apart that they are considered to have monocular vision viz. each eye collects a separate
un- coordinated image, which overlaps the least. In addition, the retinas of a fish pass impulses only to the side of the brain, opposite the eye, enhancing
the monocular effects. Compared to this man has a double advantage his eyes are placed in front of his head giving him a wide field of overlapping vision.
Man’s eyes sends simultaneously impulses along nerves to both sides of the brain, resulting in true binocular vision.
Some fishes have another remarkable feature of having ‘Divided Vision’. Fish like Anableps is adopted in seeing above a below the surface. Each eye of this ‘four eyed fish’ is situated on top of the head in
such a way that it can swim with half of the eye out of water, often ducking in water or moistening the eyeball.
We can find age of fish by reading its Scale
From head to tail, fishes are generally covered by flexible armour of rounded overlapping plates
called Scales. These are embedded in the inner layer of the skin and form an important covering. In
addition to this, fishes are further protected by a layer of mucous slime produced by numerous invisible glands scattered all over the body, this mucous in
antiseptic helping to ward off bacteria and fungi as well as lubricating agent.
In size and thickness, scales may vary greatly, from those of mahseer, which is
reported to have scales (Fish size over 12 feet) as large as man’s head to the microscopic one of common eel. Few fishes especially catfishes have no
scales at all. In some fishes like trunk-fish, scale are fused to form an inflexible box like covering or in pipe-fish and sea horse, rows of connected bony
Scales also grow along with the fish and especially in fishes of temperate zone leave a distinctive record of age and season. Since in the
temperate zones, each scale grows fastest during the summer, when the fish is getting the maximum feed and this make possible to tell a fish age by counting
growth rings on scale. Regarding typology, fish scales are categorized in four types. The primitive placoid scales found in shark, rays and skates are tooth
like structure size of grains embedded on sand paper.
Ganoid scales are present in few bony fishes. These are diamond shaped and attached to each other by joints. These are coated with ganoin a
substance, which gives the fish appearance of polished ivory.
The most common scales are cycloid and ctenoid. The former has a comb like edge while the later has a rounded border. Most fishes have one or
the other types of scale. They are arranged in over lapping rows and as they are thin light and flexible, most fishes that have them are fast
Fatty fish intake may lower mental decline
A new study has found that fish fat intake may play a role in brain functioning in middle age. According to a
report in Health Scout, the study o 1,613 men and women between the ages of 45 and 70 in the Netherlands, which has a high diet in fish, found the type of
fat consumed plays a role in a person’s mental flexibility, speed and overall functioning. Fatty fish include mackerel, salmon trout herring and other
Coldwater fishes, which are found in the icy waters off the northern European coastline.
Researchers from University Medical Center Utrecht found people who ate lots of foods rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and consumed
lots of fatty fish generally had a lower risk for impaired brain functioning (19% less) and speed (28%), compared to those who didn’t follow a similar
‘We used really sensitive cognitive tests, and it surprised me that already at that age you could see the association between diet and
mental agility’, said Dr. Sandra Kalmijn, of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care/ ‘It convinced me and reinforced for me the
link we saw between lots of fish and cognitive function’. Conversely, those with diets high in cholesterol were found at a ‘
significantly’ increased risk of impaired memory (27% higher) and flexibility (26higher). The findings appear in the latest issue of
Because a decline in mental skills can appear decades before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, the study says it’s important to
examine the effect of diet on cognitive functioning in middle age (ANI).
The Tribune 4th February 2004
Fish as multi doctor
Take fish to enrich your BRAIN
t is widely believed that countries or communities who have a lot of fish in their diet are more intelligent
than the others. Sounds fishy? But it may well be true. Researches have shown that certain nutrients that are vital for the development of one’s brain
are found in very high level in oily fish. The brain has large amounts of a fatty acid known as decosahexaenoic acid (DHA), but unfortunately the human body
is incapable of producing this fatty acid to the quantity that the brain requires. This is usually supplemented by including meat, eggs and fish,
particularly the oily ones, which are very high in DHA. Mackerel, sardines, herring, and tuna are very high in DHA, whereas in fish like cod, plaice, and
monkfish, this is found only in their livers.Fish are rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and it is these polyunsaturated
fatty acids, which provide the key. It is suggested that the minimal dietary requirement for EPA and DHA should be about 200 mg/day and this amount can
easily be obtained from eating fish just once a week In extensive researches done on primates and rats fed on food, rich in DHA, it has been found that in
all cases the learning abilities improved. Certain rise in visual awareness was also noticed. From such experiments it has been concluded that DHA improves
eyesight, blood circulation and skin and reduces pain such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
Take fish to protect your HEART
At one of the annual American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans, the Brigham and Women's Hospital
doctors presented their findings, which said that Omega-3 fatty acids found in so-called fatty fish such as the salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, seems
to get into the tissues and arteries and aids in protecting the heart. They said that eating fish at least once a week could cut the chances of dying
suddenly from heart failure into half. These findings were based on researches followed on more than 22,000 male physicians for 12 years. It was found that
those who ate at least one serving of fatty fish a week reduced their chances of cardiac arrest by 50 percent. However, although consumption of fish was
said to aid in reducing the risk of sudden death, it did not seem to change drastically with the increase in consumption. In other words, although eating
fish once a week seemed to work, eating it more often did not work better. The Omega-3 fatty acids protect the heart in several ways. From keeping the heart
beating too fast, they prevent the formation of blood clots and also prevent the buildup of plaque in the heart arteries.
Take fish to control Blood Pressure (BP)
Eating fish regularly with omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is said to significantly lower blood pressure in
people suffering from hypertension. According to a group of doctors from John Hopkins Medical School, USA, 3 grams or more per day of fish oil (6-10
capsules) lead to reduction in the blood pressure in hypertensive individuals, lowering systolic pressure by an average of 5.5 mm Hg and diastolic pressure
by 3.5 mm Hg. It is more effective in individuals who have really high blood pressure and not in the ones having normal BP.
Take fish to protect your self from Cancer
Scientists are now saying that including fish in your diet may even prevent certain types of cancer. Although
not yet conclusive as far as humans go, studies in animals have found that those same fish fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids suppress cancer formation So
next time you plan your menu, be sure to add fish in it, at least once a week.
Fish - How Good Are They For Us
Fish is one of the most popular food items of the non-vegetarians. It is nutritionally rich and tasty. Fishes
varies in shape, size, colour, skin, bone, and taste. It is unique animal meat that is rich in essential fatty acids. They contain protein and many other
major nutrients. Fish is a staple food in many parts of India and Japan.
The taste of fish depends upon its origin, whether from salt or fresh water, its fat content, and whether it is eaten fresh or preserved. I
doubt there are any other food items those are cooked such a varied ways and eaten. Fresh fish is taken as steamed, baked, boiled, as various curies, roast,
fries, grills, pickles, cutlets, finger chips, biriyani etc. Among this curries and fries are the most popular Indian preparations. Dry fish is taken as
fries, chutney, and also in powder form.
Mumtaz Khalid Ismail
Fish- rich in essential amino acid
Fish is a good source of proteins and it constitutes about 17 - 20 %. Fish proteins are good sources of all
essential amino acids. Fish protein beings rich in lysine and threonine supplement effectively with cereal proteins. Small fish eaten along with bones are a
rich source of calcium. The caloric value of the edible portion depends upon its fat content and thus on the season. During the spawning season the fat
content may rise and the caloric value increases. Studies have proved that eating fish decrease heart disease.
Scientists have also discovered that omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the healthy development of the eyes and brain. Fish has been
described as a food for the brain but there is no reason to believe that a fish eating population is in any way mentally superior to those who do not eat
fish or those who are vegetarians.
Fish is a rich source of long chain n-3 PUFA which are biologically more active than their parent member namely alpha linolenic acid in
producing several health benefits. Those who have a taste for fish are advised to take about 100 - 200 gm of fish twice a week. Fish oil capsules that
containing large quantity of long chain n-3 PUFA are used in the treatment of hypertriglyceridaemia, thrombosis, and inflammatory diseases. Oily fish such
as mackerel and trout have been shown to relieve some symptoms of psoriasis and should form a regular part of those patients diet. This may be due to the
omega 3 fatty acids or to the large amounts of vitamin D present in it.
Salt-water fish is rich in iodine, phosphorous and calcium. Those who eat regularly salt-water fish generally will not have these mineral
deficiencies. Fish also contain mineral copper. Vitamin A and D is also present. The oil from shark, cod, and halibut liver is very rich in these
Search byte- for expecting mothers
According to university of Bristol, consumption of fish in later stages of pregnancy prove to be very potent in
innate development of baby. Research has proved that the presence of omega-3 fatty acid in fish helps in the development of the nervous system (brain) of
the child. Reason behind it is the enhanced blood circulation aids in increased blood supply to the placenta due to which fetus derives more nourishment
from maternal blood.
Fish oil source of instant energy
Fish oils are available in capsule and liquid form. The cod liver oils are derived from cod and also from
Pollock, satire, and whiting. Fish oils are from fish liver and fish body. The oil extracted from the fish livers is deodorised and then vitamin E and
antioxidants are added to prevent it from going rancid.
The oil is an excellent source of vitamin A and D. Two teaspoons of cod liver oil provide about 1200ug of vitamin A, 20ug of vitamin D and about
2gms of omega 3 fatty acids. Because of high concentrations of these vitamins, cod liver oil has been used to prevent and treat conditions such as
xerophtalmia; an eye disease caused by vitamin A deficiency and rickets a bone disease caused by lack of vitamin D. Shark liver oils also contain squalene,
which is utilised by the body to produce cholesterol. Glyceryl, a substance present in shark liver oil ethers may help to protect against cervical cancer.
Fish body oils contain less vitamin A and vitamin D but are rich in omega fatty acids.
Fish Oil Fight Diabetes
April 23, 2002 -- A compound found in fish oil may help those at risk for type 2 diabetes stave off the
disease. A new study shows fish oil supplements appear to improve the function of insulin -- the hormone responsible for sugar metabolism -- in overweight
Louisiana State University researchers presented the results of their study this week at the Experimental Biology 2002 conference in New
About 17 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes, and 16 million may be at risk of developing the disease in the next decade, according to
government estimates. The disease occurs when the body becomes unable to respond to insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to rise to dangerous levels. It
is more commonly seen in overweight adults.
This differs from type 1 diabetes, which is usually seen in children that aren't overweight. But in recent years, doctors have been seeing more
type 2 diabetes in children due to the rising epidemic of obesity in the U.S.
The study authors say previous research has shown that populations that eat a lot of fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon,
and mackerel, have lower rates of type 2 diabetes compared with those who eat less fish. That prompted them to look at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids
themselves on how the body uses insulin.
Researchers studied 12 overweight men and women aged 45 to 70 and gave them once-daily supplements containing 1.8 grams of an omega-3 fatty acid
known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). All of the participants suffered from insulin resistance, a condition in which the body doesn't respond normally to
insulin and that often precedes type 2 diabetes.
After 12 weeks, researchers found 70% of the participants showed a decrease in insulin resistance, and in 50% of the patients that change was
significant, according to researcher Yvonne Denkins, PhD.
She says the findings are only preliminary. Due to the small number of participants in the study, much more information about the role of fish
oil in preventing diabetes is needed before any recommendations can be made.
Anyone who is considering increasing their intake of fish oil with supplements should first check with their doctor since DHA can have a slight
thinning effect on the blood.
In addition, there are other proven ways to prevent type 2 diabetes in someone at risk. Both exercise and the drug Glucophage have been shown to
work in preventing type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight and have high levels of insulin in their blood.
By Jennifer Warner WebMD Feature Archive
FISH FOR HEALTH & BRAIN
Research shows that trout and other oil rich fish can play a vital role in preventing deaths from heart
disease- and yet most of us fail to eat enough to do us good1.
Government health experts recommend that we eat one to two portions of fish a week, one of which should be an oil rich fish such as trout which
is high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids2. Research indicates that it can cut the risk of fatal heart attacks by lowering blood fat levels and
reducing blood clotting.
UK consumption, however, is very low, despite the fact that coronary heart disease is the most common single cause of death in the UK3. Figures
from the British Nutrition Foundation show that only a third of adults eat one small portion of oil rich fish a week. The Institute of Optimum Nutritionists
believes as much as 90 per cent of the population is now deficient in Omega-3.
An average portion of grilled trout (flesh only) is 1558, which provides 1.838 grams of Omega-31 - well within the weekly health guidelines of
1.5g a week2.
It's low in fat (a third of the fat of salmon) as well as being low in calories (just 135 kcals per 100g)2. It's an excellent source of iron,
calcium, selenium and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and B12 and contains valuable natural oils that can help keep the skin and hair in good condition.
It's also extremely tasty - and convenient. A delicious trout meal can take under 15 minutes to prepare and cook.
In addition to medical research into heart disease, there is growing evidence to demonstrate the importance of Omega-3 in brain and retina
development in infants. Concern has been expressed about the adequacy of Omega-3 in the diet of pregnant and breast feeding women1
Oil rich supplements have also been shown to alleviate some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, producing beneficial changes in levels of
fatigue, swollen and tender joints, grip strength and mobility1.
Because rainbow trout is mainly farmed, there is year round availability in this country. Most supermarkets now carry a wide range, including
whole gutted trout, trout fillets, chunky fillets, hot and cold smoked slices or fillets.
So don't miss out - pick up a trout and head for a healthier lifestyle.
- British Nutrition Foundation Conference, 1 December 1999
- Coma Report (Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy 1994)
- Diseases of the heart and circulatory system are the main cause of death in
the UK, accounting for 260,000 deaths in 1997.
EATING TROUT MAKES YOU BRAINY
Ever heard the Old Wives' Tale that eating fish makes you brainy?
Well, scientists today keep finding more and more evidence that it may be true!
Trout is packed with Omega-3 oils, which scientists say can improve your IQ!
60% of your brain is made of fat - and not just any fat, but very special kinds of fat.
Trout is high in Omega-3 oils, which generally get called "Good Fats" because they contain the stuff that helps your brain repair and rebuild
its brain cells.
Nowadays we eat very little food that's rich in Omega-3 oils, but to keep our brains happy and working well, we need to eat food that contains a
lot of Omega-3.
Trout is full of protein, which gives you energy (good for building muscles!)
Trout contains essential vitamins and minerals
Trout is high in calcium (for healthy bones and teeth)
Trout is rich in iron (for healthy red blood cells)
Trout is rich in selenium (for a healthy heart)
Trout is a great source of vitamin A (for healthy skin, and help resits infection)
Trout is a great source of vitamin D (bones and teeth again!)
Trout is low in saturated fat
Trout is high in Omega-3 oils
British Trout Association, Bow Business Centre, London E3 2SE
Eating Salmonid fish cures diabetes in women
A study undertaken recently in Harvard University revealed that the more fish a diabetic woman eats, the less
likely she is to develop heart disease.
Many researches have touted the benefits of fish for preventing heart disease in healthy women, notes the lead author of this study, Dr. Frank
Hu, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. His group postulates that fish may benefit women with diabetes
even more, since these women face a greater risk of heart disease.
They found that diabetic women who ate fish five days a week had a 65% lower risk for heart disease than diabetic women who never ate fish.
‘Even for diabetic women who ate fish once or twice a week, there was a 40% lower risk of heart disease,’ Hu says.
The study sample was 5103 female nurses diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and free of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Not only were reported fish
eaters less likely to develop heart disease but fewer of them died.
Not all fish are created equal, Hu says. “ Dark-meat fish belonging to salmonid family Salmon have more omega-3 fatty acids so they are
probably more beneficial’.
Source: Reader’s Digest; 165:988:Aug.2004:28p.
Ten Golden Rules for good fish health for
observance by Trout Farmers
- Buy fish eggs or fingerlings with known health status i.e. from a farm,
which is under surveillance of Fish Health Services;
- Keep an optimal density of fish in the raceways 4-5 kg/m3 stocking density
is generally the optimum one;
- The velocity of the water should be double the length of fish being reared
in the raceways;
- Daily fish ration has the direct relationship with water temperature. Over
feeding may give birth to severe diseases besides poor economics or even loses;
- Good hygiene in the raceways and their disinfections at proper intervals
can save fish from various diseases;
- Ensure strict vigil on the up stream water. It should be free from sewage
and pesticide washings;
- Avoid unnecessary stress to the fish from handling. Treatment and shorting
be done by experienced /qualified hands;
- Ensure regular health control measures;
- On any sign of disease discontinue feeding and call for personal of Fish
- All in- all out system be observed. Entire facility / raceways be emptied
and disinfected before the recruitment of fresh stock.
Fish Oil Cures Brest Cancer
Omega-3 fatty acid present in fishes, which is useful for brain has now found capable of formulating a potent
medicine against breast cancer after it’s amalgamation with an anesthetic, during recent studies conducted by a group of scientists.
Researchers from The Indiana University, New York have claimed formulation of an effective medicine against breast cancer by mixing Omega-3
fatty acid with anesthetic prophol. Both the components are capable of halting the multiplication of cancerous cells. Apart from stopping the spread of
cancer to other parts of the body these also block the growth of secondary tumor. On the basis of a study report published in journal of British’s
Cancer Research the results of the medicine formulated from these compounds against cancer are really encouraging.
Dr. Sara Rawling a researcher told that effects of two types of Omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA have been studied. When these are mixed with
prophol then the results are encouraging. The use of this medicine not only stopped the growth of cancerous cells but even some effected cells were
destroyed. Principal Scientist Dr. Rafat Siddiqui said on the basis of research results a patch or ointment can now be formulated. He further said that
there are now plans to formulate large quality of this medicine for tests on animals. At present the tests have been conducted on cancer effected cells and
it can hardly he stated that how much effective it would be on cancer effected ladies. Omega-3 fatty acid is found in Tuna, Salmon, Hering, Sardins,
Mackeral fish species, which apart from keeping the brain fully toned also controls the blood cholesterol level. Scientist even say that use of Omega-3
fatty acid in diet can save from Arthritis, Dermatitis and Asthma.
Courtesy: AMAR UJALA
Global collapse of fish species by 2048
With 29% Species Already In Decline, Over-fishing And Habitat-loss Will Result In Lesser Seafood:
Washington: The world’s fish and seafood population will collapse by 2048 if current trends in habitat destruction and over-fishing
continue, resulting in less food for humans, researchers said on Thursday.
In an analysis of scientific data going back to the 1960s and historical records over a thousand years, the researchers found that marine
biodiversity-the variety of ocean fish, shellfish, birds, plants and micro-organisms- has declined dramatically, with 29% of species already in
Extending this pattern into the future, the scientists calculated that by 2048 all species would be in collapse, which the researchers defined
as having catches decline 90% from the maximum catch. This applies to all species, from mussels and clams to tuna and swordfish, said Boris Worm, lead
author of the study, which was published in the current edition of the journal Science.
Ocean mammals, including seals, killer whales and dolphins, are also affected.
‘Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world’s ocean, we saw the same picture emerging’, Worm said in a
statement. ‘In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends
are- beyond anything we suspected.’
When ocean species collapse, it makes the ocean itself weaker and less able to recover from shocks like global climate change, Word said. The
decline in marine biodiversity is largely due to over-fishing and destruction of habitat, Worm said in a telephone interview from Dalhousie University in
Halifax , Nova Scotia .
The loss of biodiversity makes ocean ecosystems loss able to recover from the effects of global climate change, pollution and over-exploitation,
He linked a diverse ocean environment to a diversified investment portfolio. With lots of different species in the oceans, just as with lots of
different kinds of investments, ‘You spread the risk around,’ Worm said. ‘In the ocean ecosystem, We’re losing a lot of the species
in our stock portfolio, and by the we’re losing productivity and stability, by losing stability, we’re losing the ability of the system to
This research shows we’ll have few viable fisheries by 2050,’ Andrew Sugden, international managing editor of Science, told
reporters at a telephone news briefing. “This work also shows that it’s not too late to act.”
To help depleted areas rebuild, marine-life reserves and no-fishing zones need to be setup, Worm and other authors of the study said. This has
proven effective in places including the Georges Bank off the US Atlantic coast, he said. With marine reserves I place, fishing near the reserves can
improve as much as four-fold, Worm said.
Beyond the economic benefits to coastal communities where fishing is a critical industry, there are environmental benefits to rebuilding marine
biodiversity, the scientists said. Depleted coastal ecosystems are vulnerable to invasive species, disease outbreaks, costal flooding and noxious algae
blooms, they reported.
Certain kinds of aquaculture can also be beneficial, according to the scientists. REUTERS
Courtesy: The Times Of India 4th November 2006 .
November 03, 2006
Its findings are startling. A global study lead by Dalhousie’s Boris Worm shows current trends projecting
the collapse of all currently fished seafoods before 2050. The international group of ecologists and economists show that the loss of biodiversity is
profoundly reducing the ocean’s ability to produce seafood, resist diseases, filter pollutants, and rebound from stresses such as over-fishing and
climate change. The study, published in the November 3rd issue of the journal Science, reveals that every species lost causes a faster unraveling of the
overall ecosystem. Conversely every species recovered adds significantly to overall productivity and stability of the ecosystem and its ability to withstand
“Whether we looked at tide pools or studies over the entire world’s ocean, we saw the same picture emerging,” says Dr. Worm.
“In losing species we lose the productivity and stability of entire ecosystems. I was shocked and disturbed by how consistent these trends are –
beyond anything we suspected.”
The four-year analysis is the first to examine all existing data on ocean species and ecosystems, synthesizing historical, experimental,
fisheries, and observational datasets to understand the importance of biodiversity at the global scale.
Every species matters
The results reveal global trends that mirror what scientists have observed at smaller scales, and they prove that progressive biodiversity loss
not only impairs the ability of oceans to feed a growing human population, but also sabotages the stability of marine environments and their ability to
recover from stresses. Every species matters.
The good news is that the data show that ocean ecosystems still hold great ability to rebound. However, the current global trend is a serious
concern: it projects the collapse of all species of wild seafood that are currently fished by the year 2050 (collapse is defined as 90 per cent
Collapses are also hastened by the decline in overall health of the ecosystem – fish rely on the clean water, prey populations and diverse
habitats that are linked to higher diversity systems. This points to the need for managers to consider all species together rather than continuing with
single species management.
Fundamental change needed
“Unless we fundamentally change the way we manage all the oceans species together, as working ecosystems,
then this century is the last century of wild seafood,” says co-author Steve Palumbi of Stanford University . The impacts of species loss go beyond
declines in seafood. Human health risks emerge as depleted coastal ecosystems become vulnerable to invasive species, disease outbreaks and noxious algal
Many of the economic activities along our coasts rely on diverse systems and the healthy waters they supply. “The ocean is a great
recycler,” explains Palumbi, “It takes sewage and recycles it into nutrients, it scrubs toxins out of the water, and it produces food and turns
carbon dioxide into food and oxygen.” But in order to provide these services, the ocean needs all its working parts, the millions of plant and animal
species that inhabit the sea.
The strength of the study is the consistent agreement of theory, experiments and observations across widely different scales and ecosystems. The
study analyzed 32 controlled experiments, observational studies from 48 marine protected areas, and global catch data from the UN’s Food and
Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) database of all fish
and invertebrates worldwide from 1950 to 2003. The scientists also looked at a 1000-year time series for 12 coastal regions, drawing on data
from archives, fishery records, sediment cores and archeological data.
Can losses be reversed?
“We see an accelerating decline in coastal species over the last 1000 years, resulting in the loss of
biological filter capacity, nursery habitats, and healthy fisheries,” says co-author Heike Lotze of Dalhousie who led the historical analysis of the
Bay of Fundy , Chesapeake Bay , San Francisco Bay , and the North Sea , among others.
The scientists note that a pressing question for management is whether losses can be reversed. If species have not been pushed too far down,
recovery can be fast — but there is also a point of no return as seen with species like northern Atlantic cod.
“The data show us it’s not too late,” says Worm. “We can turn this around. But less than one per cent of the global
ocean is effectively protected right now. We won’t see complete recovery in one year, but in many cases species come back more quickly than people
anticipated — in three to five to 10 years. And where this has been done we see immediate economic benefits.”
The study was based at the National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), funded by the National Science Foundation, the
University of California and UC Santa Barbara.
What is a fish
A fish is a cold-blooded aquatic vertebrate, which swims with the help of paired fins and breathes through
gills. Fish constitute about half of all known vertebrate species.
What is a person who studies fish called: An ichthyologist.
How are fish identified: A combination of the number of characteristics such as
position of mouth, scale counts, general features, colour, maximum length and distribution are used idendification.
Difference between male and female fish - In some species the males and females have
different shaped bodies or different colouring; in other species there is no visible difference and its appears at the time of breeding season.
How fishes breathe: Some fish have lungs and breathe air, but most breathe through
gills. Gills are made up of thin sheets of tissue richly supplied with blood vessels. As water passes over them dissolved oxygen is absorbed into the blood
and waste products such as carbon dioxide pass out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum.
What is a lateral line: The lateral line is a row of scales that most fish have along
their sides, stretching from their head to tail. Under these scales are a system of fluid-filled canals and specialized cells, which transmit vibrations to
the brain. The lateral line helps fish to detect objects including predators and prey.
Why are fish slimy: Fish secrete a type of mucus from their skin. This slime coating is
important because it provides protection against parasites and diseases, covers wounds to prevent infection and helps fish move through the water faster.
Some species release toxins in their slime which ward off attacking creatures while others use their slime to feed their young.
What do fish eat? Fish Diet: Detritus, diatoms, aquatic macro-invertebrates
(particularly insect larvae, crustaceans and worms), molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, zooplankton, fish and their eggs, terrestrial insects, water birds,
turtles, frogs, snakes and mice etc.
What eats fish: Other fish, birds (e.g. pelicans, cormorants and herons), snakes,
turtles, crustaceans, some insect larvae (e.g. dragonfly larvae), and humans. In other parts of the world there are also animals such as wild cats, wild
pigs and bears that feed on fish.
Where do freshwater fish live: Freshwater fish inhabit all sorts of environments:
streams, rivers, lakes, springs, lands, lagoons, billabongs, backwaters, estuaries, swamps, dune lakes, reservoirs, ponds and drains. Some freshwater fish
also spend part of their lifecycle at sea.
Types of Tropical fishes:
Anabantids - The Anabantids are fishes that belong to the families Anabantidae,
Belontiidae, Helostomatidae and Osphronemidae. They are also called "labyrinth fish" because of their auxillary breathing organ called "labyrinth".
Catfishes- Catfishes are indentifiable by the barbels around their mouths which allow
them to locate food in the dark. Instead of scales, the skin may be naked or covered with bony plates ("scutes").Types: Mystus seenghala, W. attu , H.
fossislis, Clarias batrachus etc. Cichlids - Description - The colours, shapes and sizes of
cichlids vary enormously. Types: Angelfish
Cyprinids- Description - Tropical aquarium cyprinids are divided into three main
groups: barbs (which are carp-like fishes), danios and raspboras. All cyprinids spawn through egg-scattering.
Loaches - Description - Loaches are distinguishable by the erectile spine beneath the
eye, which acts as deterrent to predators.
Livebearers - Description - This is very brief summary information about the fish.
Everything else is on a separate page. Types: Mollies, Swordtails, Guppies, Platy, Millions
Other Fish - Description - This category comprises: Triggerfish
Did You Know - Fish Facts: Are there more mammal, bird or fish species on Earth? Fish!
It’s believed there may be 28,000 different fish species.
What fish can walk on land? The climbing perch. This amazing fish, native to India ,
can walk on land in search of water when its water hole dries up. The world's largest lake trout was caught on the Saskatchewan end of Lake Athabasca ,
Canada , and weighed in at 102 pounds.
Global warming killing marine life
[7 Dec, 2006 2054hrs ISTAP]
WASHINGTON: In a "sneak peak" revealing a grim side
effect of future warmer seas, new Nasa satellite data find that the vital base of the ocean food web shrinks when the world's seas get hotter.
And that discovery has scientists worried about how much food marine life will have as global warming progresses. The data show a significant
link between warmer water — either from the El Nino weather phenomenon or global warming — and reduced production of phytoplankton of the
world's oceans, according to a study in journal Nature.
Phytoplankton are the microscopic plant life that zooplankton and other marine animals eat, essentially the grain crop of the world's
Study lead author Michael Behrenfeld, a biological oceanographer at Oregon State University, said on Wednesday that the recent dramatic drop in
phytoplankton production in much of the world's oceans is a "sneak peak of how ocean biology" will respond later in the century with global
"Everything else up the food web is going to be impacted, "said oceanographer Scott Doney of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. He was not
involved in the study.
"What's worrisome is that small changes that happen in the bottom of the food web can have dramatic changes to certain species at higher spots
on the food chain, "Doney said.
This is yet another study with real-time data showing the much-predicted harmful effects of global warming are not just coming, but in some
cases are already here and can be tallied scientifically.
10 small steps for a longer life
New Year is a time many of us resolve to make dramatic health improvements, such as joining the gym and giving up alcohol for ever (or for at
least a month). But some of the most dramatic changes we can make are incredibly simple.
Here with the help of leading experts, Good Health offers a guide to the ten easy steps that really will make a difference to your
ONE: FLOSS Flossing at least twice a day is essential to prevent decay
says Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation.
Too few people floss, putting themselves at risk of life-threatening diseases such as mouth cancer and heart disease.
But choose proper dental floss - according to a recent national dental survey, more than 60 per cent of Britons use screwdrivers, scissors and
earrings to remove food from between their teeth.
TWO: HAVE YOUR EYES TESTED:' A thorough eye test is a health check that can
detect underlying conditions that leave you predisposed to sight loss,' says Ciara Smith, at the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
'Around 1.9million people with diabetes aren't having the regular eye tests they need, while 250,000 people with early-stage glaucoma are at
risk of losing their sight but don't realise it.'
So get your eyes tested at least every two years.
THREE:EAT 'GOOD' BACTERIA: 'Good' bacteria - or probiotics - are
essential for our digestive health and helping the immune system to work.
In certain circumstances, for example prolonged use of antibiotics or a severe bout of vomiting or diarrhoea, the gut is stripped of its good
bacteria. One of the best sources of probiotics is natural yoghurt.
You can buy other products which say they include probiotics, although some contain only one of two strains of good bacteria rather than the
hundreds needed. A good health food store will advise you.
FOUR: TAKE A CHOLESTEROL TEST: Coronary heart disease is the biggest
killer in the Western world. In the UK it accounts for one in four of all male and one in six of all female deaths.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), says everyone over 40 should know their cholesterol level and
then aim to reduce it.
'You can't have too low a cholesterol level,' he adds. 'In the UK we regard 5.5 as an average reading, although in other countries, such as
China, this is considered very high - and they have a low rate of heart disease compared to us.'
Ask your GP or practice nurse for a simple blood test. Or you can buy a cholesterol test over the chemist's counter, but make sure you choose
one with separate readings for good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels: if the results show a high reading, see your GP.
FIVE: STOP SLOUCHING: Better posture is the single most effective
weapon against chronic back problems, says Matt Todman, consultant physiotherapist at the Sports & Spinal Clinic in Harley Street.
He recommends taking up Pilates if you are prone to the problem, but simply stopping your slouch habit at your desk and not lugging around heavy
bags can make a huge difference.
SIX: SWITCH TO UNSALTED BUTTER: The recommended amount of salt per day
is 6g, but most of us routinely consume around 9g. Cutting your salt intake by one teaspoon a day can halve your risk of coronary heart disease, the UK's
Check food labels. Choose those with low salt or sodium content - 0.25g of salt per 100g of food, or 0.1g sodium per 100g. Just switching to
unsalted butter, for instance, could make a difference in the long term - or remove the salt cellar from the table.
SEVEN: EAT A CAN OF SARDINES A WEEK: Omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish
(such as sardines, tuna and herring) play an important part in the development of the central nervous system - and in countering a range of conditions
including heart disease and Alzheimer's.
The Food Standards Agency says we should each try to eat two portions of fish a week, one of them oily.
EIGHT: REDUCE YOUR WAISTLINE: A recent study found that people who had
the biggest tummies were 40 per cent more likely to suffer from a heart attack, and that the waistline was a better indication of health than your Body Mass
Women should have a waistline of less than 31.5 inches and men 37 inches. The simplest way is to lose weight overall, and the BHF recommends
aiming for a loss of just 2lb a week over the long term.
NINE: SQUEEZE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES : One in three women in the UK
suffers from urinary incontinence - but the embarrassing nature of the problem means many never see a doctor.
'Urinary incontinence can disrupt a person's social life and thousands become clinically depressed because of it,' says Dr Sarah Jarvis, women's
health spokesperson for the Royal College of GPs.
Doing regular pelvic floor exercises improves bladder control. First, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to hold back
urine. Then tighten these muscles and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this ten times, and do the whole exercise at least four times a day.
If you suffer from incontinence, ask your GP to refer you to a specialist nurse. For more advice, call 0870 770 3246 or visit
TEN: STOP MAKING PLANS: 'Live in the moment,' says psychotherapist
Derek Draper. 'The new year is a time when people reflect on the past and make plans for the future, but if you have too many regrets or set yourself
unachievable goals, you'll end up disappointed.'
A review by the U.S. National Academy of Science showed increased 'mindfulness' - the psychological term for living in the moment - led to less
stress and boosted the immune system.
A review by the US National Academy of Science shows increased’ mindfulness’, psychological term for living in the moment, leads to
less stress and boosts the immune system
Courtesy: Daily Mail, London.
Fish oil fights weight loss from chemotherapy
Toronto: Supplementing diet with fish oil may prevent
muscle and weight loss that commonly occurs in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy.
The process can cause cancer patients to lose muscle mass and become malnourished, leading to fatigue, a decreased quality of life and shorter
Researchers believe that supplementing the diet with fish oil - which contains omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid - may help
patients maintain or gain muscle, the journal Cancer reports.
Vera Mazurak of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, led a team that compared the effects of fish oil with that of standard care (no
intervention) on weight, muscle, and fat tissue in newly referred non-small cell lung cancer patients.
Patients who did not take fish oil lost an average of 2.3 kilograms whereas patients receiving fish oil maintained their weight, according to an
Alberta University release. Patients with the greatest concentration of fish oil supplementation in the blood had the greatest gains in muscle. Sixty-nine
percent of patients in the fish oil group gained or maintained muscle mass.
Comparatively, only 29 percent of patients in the standard care group maintained muscle mass, and overall, patients in this group lost one
kilogram of muscle. No difference in total fat tissue was observed between the two groups.
"Fish oil may prevent loss of weight and muscle by interfering with some of the pathways that are altered in advanced cancer," said Mazurak.
Omega-3 fatty acids keep blindness at bay
Previous research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids – commonly found in fish oil – can prevent
retinopathy, a major form of blindness that affects people with diabetes and premature babies, in a mouse model of the disease. Now a follow-up study, from
the same research team at Children's Hospital Boston, has revealed how exactly omega-3 fatty acids help prevent several forms of blindness.
It also provides reassurance that widely used COX-inhibiting drugs like aspirin and NSAIDs do not negate their benefit. The results showed that
omega-3 fatty acids could prevent eye blindness such as retinopathy, caused by the proliferation of tortuous, leaky blood vessels in the retina, and age-
related macular degeneration (AMD), caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels. Previous research by Children's Hospital ophthalmologist Lois Smith and
senior investigator of the new study had shown that mice fed diets rich in omega-3s had 50 percent less pathologic vessel growth in their retina than mice
fed diets rich in omega-6 fatty acids. In their new study, Smith and her colleagues documented another protective mechanism - a direct effect on blood
vessel growth (angiogenesis) that selectively promotes the growth of healthy blood vessels and inhibits the growth of abnormal vessels. They isolated the
specific compound from omega-3 fatty acids that has these beneficial effects in mice (a metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, known as 4-HDHA), and the
enzyme that produces it (5-lipoxygenase, or 5-LOX). The researchers also found that COX enzymes are not involved in omega-3 breakdown, suggesting drugs such
as aspirin or NSAIDs do not affect the benefits of omega-3.
"This is important for people with diabetes, who often take aspirin to prevent heart disease, and also for eld erly people with AMD who have a
propensity for heart disease," said Smith. Smith is currently working alongside the US National Eye Institute, which is conducting a trial of omega-3
supplements in patients with advanced macular degeneration, expected to conclude in 2013.
The findings are published in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine. ANI