Key ocean fish can prevail with changes to farmed fish, livestock diets

A school of forage fish.

As seafood consumption outpaces the growth of other food sectors and continues to grow worldwide, farmed seafood — also called aquaculture — has increased rapidly to meet consumer demand. That means aquatic farming now puts the most pressure on the smaller forage fish harvested to feed their larger farmed counterparts such as salmon, carp and tilapia. A new study appearing online June 14 in Nature Sustainability shows that if current aquaculture and agriculture practices remain unchanged into the future, wild forage fish populations likely will be overextended by the year 2050, and possibly sooner — even if all stocks were fished sustainably. 

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Warmer climate will dramatically increase the volatility of global corn crops

Corn field under a blue sky.

New research led by the University of Washington looks at what climate change will mean for global yields of corn, or maize — the most widely grown crop in the world. Used in food, cooking oil, industrialized foods, livestock feed and even automobile fuel, the crop is one that all people, rich and poor, reply upon. Published June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the results show that warmer temperatures by the end of this century will reduce yields throughout the world, confirming previous research. 

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Seven science communication projects to inspire your work

College of the Environment faculty, staff and students use countless ways to broaden the reach and impact of their work. We rounded up a few examples that illustrate the breadth, innovation and creativity that come with different kinds of science communication and outreach. Enjoy and explore the highlights from a year of great science communication. 1. Public Comment Project The Public Comment Project seeks to promote evidence-based policy by facilitating scientists’ engagement in public comment on federal regulations. 

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Ocean warming, ‘junk-food’ prey cause of massive seabird die-off, study finds

Cassin’s auklets found on Moolack Beach, Oregon, in 2014. The birds are arranged for photo documentation, and the chalkboard lists the location and time these birds were found.

In the fall of 2014, West Coast residents witnessed a strange, unprecedented ecological event. Tens of thousands of small seabird carcasses washed ashore on beaches from California to British Columbia, in what would become one of the largest bird die-offs ever recorded. A network of more than 800 citizen scientists responded as the birds, called Cassin’s auklets, turned up dead in droves along the coast. 

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