Impact
New hope for the Toothfish

Impact

In a world that is experiencing changes in global climate, the loss of biological diversity, and the depletion of marine fisheries, the Antarctic, Sub-Antarctic, and their biota offer compelling natural laboratories for understanding the evolutionary impacts of these processes. The ICEFISH Cruise is explicitly designed to tackle these issues. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) program Evolution in the Antarctic (EVOLANTA) recognizes the need to understand the role of human activities in the evolution of the largely marine organisms of these ecosystems. (For more information, visit www.up.ac.za/academic/zoology/scar/scar_sciplan.htm.) The ICEFISH Cruise will also contribute to our understanding of the evolution of the genomes of the notothenioid fishes. Furthermore, the fishes and invertebrates under study may yield a “treasure trove” of genes that encode cold-adapted enzymes that have significant biotechnological potential in the food-processing and fine-chemical industries and in medical applications.