For centuries, fishermen in Japan have been creating ink prints of fish and sea species in a practice known as Gyotaku (魚拓) or “fish rubbing” in English. Originally used to record catches or brag about them in front of others, Gyotaku later became a recognized art form. Now, a new study led by two Japanese biologists has found a new use for the fish prints as a research tool for examining marine biodiversity and tracking extinct species.
Yusuke Miyazaki and Atsunobu Murase from the University of Miyazaki in southern Japan studied 261 samples of gyotaku collected from bait-and-tackle shops in local areas with threatened fish species.
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