So y'see...as it is in life, there was this male salmon who met a female salmon and they got along really well. So well that they decided they wanted to start a family but after a while and no eggs to speak of, they did what many human-types did: they found a surrogate parent...fish.
Researchers in Japan have put a new spin on surrogate parenting having engineered one fish species to produce another to preserve endangered fish. Scientists in Idaho are continuing this concept in an attempt to produce a sockeye salmon, highly endangered in the state, but using trout as surrogate parents.
Those first experiments, funded by a Japanese research institute, used still fairly plentiful species to develop the technique. Now comes Idaho's attempt to prove if the method is really useful in trying to produce the endangered sockeye salmon.
Last January, YoshiGoro Yoshizaki, a Tokyo University marine scientist who is leading the research helped University of Idaho scientists collect and freeze immature sperm tissue from young sockeye salmon being raised at a state-run hatchery. Next month, he'll be back to help thaw the tissue and implant it into sterile rainbow trout.
In Japan, Yoshizaki is focused on bluefin tuna, noting that standard "marine ranching" techniques are difficult for tuna that can reach man-size.
He has begun experiments into how to produce baby tuna from mackerel, which are nearly a thousand times smaller than adult tuna. If it works, "we can save space, cost and labor," he predicted in an e-mail interview.
Read about the entire cut-and-implant process here:
I dunno. It's not nice to fool Mother Nature... I mean, at some point down the line, a trout just may receive the unexpected (and traumatic) news that his mama was a salmon. Or a tuna may discover it has mackeral-ish tendencies. Who knows where all of this can lead...
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