What is the tragedy of the commons? – Nicholas Amendolare

Imagine as a thought experiment that you live in a small village and depend on the local fish pond for food. You share the pond with three other villagers. The pond starts off with a dozen fish, and the fish reproduce. For every two fish, there will be one baby added each night. So, in […]

Can you solve the pirate riddle? – Alex Gendler

It’s a good day to be a pirate. Amaro and his four mateys, Bart, Charlotte, Daniel, and Eliza have struck gold: a chest with 100 coins. But now, they must divvy up the booty according to the pirate code. As captain, Amaro gets to propose how to distribute the coins. Then, each pirate, including Amaro […]

Underwater farms vs. climate change? – Ayana Johnson and Megan Davis

For 3 billion people around the world, seafood provides a significant source of protein and nutrition. But recent studies show that 33% of wild fisheries are overfished, while another 60% are fished at their maximum capacity. In fact, over half the seafood we eat– from finfish and shellfish to seaweed and algae– isn’t caught in […]

Why are fish fish-shaped? – Lauren Sallan

In tropical seas, flying fish leap out of the water, gliding for up to 200 meters using wing-like fins, before dipping back into the sea. In the Indo-Pacific, a hunting sailfish can reach speeds of 110 kilometers per hour. That’s 11 times faster than Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps. It can then stick up its […]

How do schools of fish swim in harmony? – Nathan S. Jacobs

How do schools of fish swim in harmony? And how do the tiny cells in your brain give rise to the complex thoughts, memories, and consciousness that are you? Oddly enough, those questions have the same general answer: emergence, or the spontaneous creation of sophisticated behaviors and functions from large groups of simple elements. Like […]

How do fish make electricity? – Eleanor Nelsen

In 1800, the explorer Alexander von Humboldt witnessed a swarm of electric eels leap out of the water to defend themselves against oncoming horses. Most people thought the story so unusual that Humboldt made it up. But fish using electricity is more common than you might think; and yes, electric eels are a type of […]

Will the ocean ever run out of fish? – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Jacquet

Fish are in trouble. The cod population off Canada’s East Coast collapsed in the 1990s, intense recreational and commercial fishing has decimated goliath grouper populations in South Florida, and most populations of tuna have plummeted by over 50%, with the Southern Atlantic bluefin on the verge of extinction. Those are just a couple of many […]