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Shoppers for fresh seafood often find themselves questioning the age of the fish they buy at the seafood counter. They may make an educated guess by smell at the store, or taste, after bringing it home.
Scientists have long sought an efficient, cost-effective way to determine the health and viability of fish stocks among harvested species. For these researchers, the age of the fish matters before it is ever reeled in. Historically, one way to weigh in on the answer is by counting growth markings, just as one would count rings on a tree to determine its age. In bony fish, the diffusion properties of the growth bands of otoliths — the hard, calcium carbonate structures of the skull behind the brain — enable bands to be…READ MORE