The Fish Trained to Net Themselves News worth an honorable mention, including including a plan to use sound to signal harvest time.

The Fish Trained to Net Themselves

The Fish Trained to Net Themselves

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News worth an honorable mention, including including a plan to use sound to signal harvest time.


Flashback. Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're always online at I'm Rachel Martin.


And I'm Alison Stewart. Time to take a look through some of the stories that are in the back of the newspaper. Maybe below the fold. OK, maybe just on page 98. It's The Ramble. I was trying to say below the fold, but you know. This one is tough. It's tough out there for a fish. You've got to watch out for big nets attached to fishing trollers, little hooks attached to fishing poles, of course, bigger fish who might want to eat you.

Well, now, thanks for some scientists, there's one more thing they need to watch out for, Pavlovian training. Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, very cool place to visit, by the way, if you're waiting for a fare to Martha's Vineyard, and they're testing a plan to train fish to catch themselves by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time. So, this tone goes off and the fish jump in the net.

MARTIN: Oh, no!

STEWART: Yup. They would raise these fish, train them to respond, playing the tone each time that the fish get fed. Then, they can release the fish in the ocean, let them grow to market size there, and then they just play the tone, and they all come swimming into your big net. The main goal here is not to be mean, it's actually to reduce the cost of fish farming by letting farmers save on money on food and reducing the amount of fish waste released into concentrated areas.

MARTIN: Aha. OK, well, I guess if the cost of fish farming goes down, it might help bring down the cost of food in general, which is up, you know. Sky high these days, food.


MARTIN: Especially as the economy goes through a rough patch that we're in right now. So the Seattle Post Intelligencer has some tips for eating well and saving some cash, and here's what they have to say. "Buy the less expensive cuts of meat." You know, you see pork belly on the menu at a fancy restaurant, it's not just because pork belly is awesome. It's also because it's cheaper. Next tip, eat foods when they're in season and avoid them when they're not.

That makes sense. Most fruits and veggies are cheaper when stores can get them locally, so they don't have to pay for the shipping costs. When they have to ship them in from places where they're in season, obviously they get more expensive. So the next tip, substitute and eliminate. If one ingredient you need is really expensive, find a similar replacement or forget it all together.

STEWART: That could be dangerous in certain recipes, though.

MARTIN: Well, that's true.

STEWART: Just wanted to note.

MARTIN: And they have a few more out there that are really useful. Check out bulk bins. Grow your own herbs.

STEWART: That's a really good one. I do that sometimes.

MARTIN: And that's kind of, you know, that's fun. And explore ethnic markets and recipes. I mean, that can be like, a field trip for an afternoon, and it's much cheaper if you go there, actually.

STEWART: Rachel, I think you can relate to our next Ramble story. You know when you see your home state or hometown in the headlines?


STEWART: Larry Craig for you in Idaho.

MARTIN: It's true.

STEWART: Me, my home state of New Jersey, the former mayor of my home town, making news.

MARTIN: What's he saying?

STEWART: Home town of Glen Ridge, NJ. This man is starting an effort to recall New Jersey's Democratic Governor John Corzine.


STEWART: Yes, it's the first time in New Jersey history that citizens have tried to have their governor recalled. Now, I wish I knew this guy. The town is tiny. I mean, it's one-mile wide, three-miles long.

MARTIN: Oh, my gosh.

STEWART: It's the tiniest little town. No school buses, gas lights. His name is Carl Bergmanson. Must have moved there since we lived there. His main beef? He says the governor failed to address high property taxes, we've got those in Glen Ridge, let me tell you, while at the same time, increasing highway tolls and reducing municipal aid. So, what is this gentleman's political persuasion, you're thinking, oh, maybe this is part of some politics? He says he's a Whig. As in the Whigs from the 19th century.

MARTIN: Uh huh.

STEWART: His concern extends beyond the current Democratic governor. He once lead a petition to get Pluto reinstated as a planet. I'm just saying, he's a man with a mission.

MARTIN: Indeed, and a diverse agenda.

STEWART: That's my home town, people. Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

MARTIN: Finally, a story - it's good news for folks who wear glasses, Alison. Turns out you're not so geeky. Me either. You know, I'm a glasses-wearer, too. I just don't do it in public. So, some scientists, some very smart people have laid down an edict that have research that proves that people who wear glasses - well, actually the reverse, there's no evidence that people who wear glasses have any particular personality traits. They're not nerdy. No one can prove this.

STEWART: Yeah, think sassy Tina Fey.

MARTIN: Yeah, exactly. One doctor on the study said, quote, "they're more likely" - people who wear glasses - "to be agreeable and open, rather than closed and introverted." The scientists speculate that the stereotype may come from the fact that people who are nearsighted do tend to be a bit smarter, so maybe they're increased intelligence has caused people to label them as bookish. I don't know.

STEWART: I think they're wearing face jewelry. Why would somebody who's wearing a little face adornment be bookish? And you know, glasses are kind of hip and groovy.

MARTIN: Yeah, people wear fake glasses, actually, because they think they're cool.

STEWART: I know. I know somebody on TV who does that to look smart.

MARTIN: Are you serious?


MARTIN: You can't tell us on the radio, can you?

STEWART: I'm not going to tell you.

MARTIN: Tell me afterwards.

STEWART: What? Sorry?

MARTIN: OK, folks, that's your Ramble for the day.

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