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East Carolina Graduate students Evan Knight, left, and Walt Rogers work to remove otoliths from an Alewife or River Herring at Flanagan Building. They are practicing the anatomic way to retrieve the same info collected by the Wave Glider's yearlong and thousands of miles traveled missions. Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.   (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector)
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Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflecto

East Carolina Graduate students Evan Knight, left, and Walt Rogers work to remove otoliths from an Alewife or River Herring at Flanagan Building. They are practicing the anatomic way to retrieve the same info collected by the Wave Glider's yearlong and thousands of miles traveled missions. Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (Aileen Devlin/The Daily Reflector)

ECU researchers track fish tale

By Michael Abramowitz

The Daily Reflector

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The great white shark tracked last week inside the Pamlico Sound ranks as one of the more spectacular local marine occurrences, but a 4-inch herring might be far more important to North Carolina’s marine ecology and commercial fisheries system.

Scientists and graduate students at East Carolina University’s biology department, led by Roger Rulifson, a professor and senior scientist with the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, are studying the alewife and blue back herring, known collectively as river herring, which are headed toward endangered species classification.


“In inland and coastal waters, it’s illegal to even possess one,” Rulifson said. “We had a permit to collect them from the ocean for study. Their numbers have dipped dramatically all along the Eastern Seaboard.”

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart