Rutgers marine researchers and New Jersey fishermen are piecing together the details of the strange, gender-bending sex lives of black sea bass- a study that could improve understanding of the bass population and help the beleaguered recreational fishing industry… Scientists have long known black sea bass are "protogynous hermaphrodites," a species in which fish that begin life as females can switch gender to male. But the details of how and why that happens are not completely understood… "It sounds crazy, right? But from an evolutionary perspective, it’s a perfect way to keep balance in a population," said Olaf Jensen, an assistant professor with Rutgers’ Department of Marine and Coastal Science leading the project. "If it’s operating out in nature, maybe we don’t have to worry so much about fishing pressure removing the big males and skewing the sex ratio."… The idea for the project started in 2010, when Jensen was talking to Eleanor Bochenek, director of the Fisheries Cooperative Center at Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, who works with fishermen and other people who make a living on the water.
/ / / Black Sea Bass Change Sex for Survival