Why study genetic population structure of Pacific cod in the Bering Sea?

Pacific cod constitute one of the biggest fisheries in the United States. In Alaska, they are managed in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management units.  Fisheries managers and fishermen alike are interested in fish movement – it provides information to manage fisheries sustainably. Genetic information is different from tagging; tagging can show where fish go, genetics can show which groups interbreed, and which do not. I was interested in whether Pacific cod in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management unit were a single population, and was inspired by previous work. Here is the

On board a commercial fishing vessel doing research on movement patterns of Pacific cod in the Bering Sea.

On board a commercial fishing vessel doing research on movement patterns of Pacific cod in the Bering Sea.

result of my research, which describes evidence that more than one population of Pacific cod exists in this area.