Evolutionary ecology
Media coverage

BBC Earth features research from EvoFish

BBC Earth is featuring an article on how growing environment shapes the cognitive abilities in fish. Research by Anne Gro Vea Salvanes from EvoFish is also highlighted, with cool videos!

Two men with bags of juvenile salmon to be released to a river
Ove Kambestad (left) and Geir Ove Henden (right) from the Voss hatchery releasing juvenile salmon to River Vosso in July 2014. This is the start of a field experiment testing if smart fish really survive better in the wild. Results are expected in the end of the year!
Anne Gro Vea Salvanes

Main content

BBC Earth has published an article entitled "How do you entertain a fish?" where research showing how growing environment shapes the cognitive abilities in fish is discussed. In short, environments lacking stimuli (such as traditional fish hatcheries) retard the cognitive development in fish. When released to the wild, such "stupid" fish have low survival because their ability to deal with challenges such as avoiding predators and finding food is poor. In contrast, fish grown in enriched environments become "smarter" and fare better when released - an important lesson for supportive breeding programmes! Research by Anne Gro Vea Salvanes from EvoFish and EvoFish-alumnus Olav Moberg have been important in the development of this resaerch area, and their work, including some cool videos, is featured in the article.