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Is hearing loss in farmed fish a price worth paying for aquaculture's meteoric rise?

A study finds that accelerated growing conditions on some fish farms are causing hearing impairments in salmon. It's a reminder that aquaculture's own accelerated rise needs to be closely managedTo grasp the wide-ranging impacts of our industrial food systems, take a peek inside a salmon's ear. That's what marine biologist Tormey Reimer did when, in 2013 at the University of Melbourne, she began to investigate deformities that were developing on the structures that salmon use to hear.Bony fish species have structures called otoliths in their ears, small crystals that they use to detect sound. Biologists have for decades relied on otoliths to age fish, using them like rings on a tree. But what Reimer saw was an altogether larger, lighter, and more transparent crystal called a vaterite, growing into the otolith and obstructing the fish's ability to hear. "I did a bit of digging and found it was much more common in farmed salmon than wild," she says. And, she began to suspect it had something to do with the accelerated growth rates in fish farms. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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