Environmental DNA Applications for Fisheries

Photo credit Jennifer Polinski

As a marine organism interacts with its environment, DNA is shed into the surrounding seawater leaving a temporary, local signature of its presence. This environmental DNA (eDNA) can be isolated directly from seawater samples to determine which organisms are currently, or were recently present. The application of eDNA technology to the marine environment provides tremendous promise for monitoring species distribution and abundance with greater spatial and temporal coverage  than is possible through traditional approaches. Improvement and advances in this technology will help to refine, automate, and  extract more information from eDNA data for applications in marine resource monitoring and biodiversity assessment.

GMGI is developing eDNA technologies to assess overall biodiversity and to detect target fish and shellfish species in seawater samples from a variety of marine environments.