Monitoring populations of polar and deepwater fish can be challenging due to their remote and often inaccessible habitats. A new study used a non-invasive analysis of environmental DNA in seawater samples to learn about several species of fish off the coast of Southwest Greenland. The researchers then compared eDNA analysis results to catch data by trawling at the site. Their findings suggest that results of eDNA monitoring were comparable in accuracy, and even detected a higher abundance of one species of deepwater fish – which may indicate the technique is more effective in detecting large fish that may evade trawling.
Philip Francis Thomsen, Peter Rask Møller, Eva Egelyng Sigsgaard, Steen Wilhelm Knudsen, Ole Ankjær Jørgensen, Eske Willerslev
Philip Francis Thomsen, Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Original paper published in PLOS One on November 16, 2016.