Balanced harvesting could reduce fisheries-induced evolution (2018)
Alternative TitleOn fisheries-induced evolution under balanced harvestingSelection and balanced harvesting
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Current fisheries management pays little attention to fisheries-induced evolution. Methods of exploitation that have benefits in the short term while ameliorating selection in the longer term would therefore be advantageous. Balanced harvesting is a potential candidate. This tries to bring fishing more in line with natural production, and some short-term benefits for conservation of aquatic ecosystems and for biomass yield have already been documented. It is also predicted to be relatively benign as a selective force on fish stocks, because it keeps the overall distribution of mortality relatively close to natural mortality. We test this prediction, coupling an ecological model of marine, size-spectrum dynamics to an adaptive dynamics model of life history evolution. The evolutionary variable is the reproductive schedule, set by the maximum body mass and the mass at maturation. The prediction is supported by our numerical analysis: Directional selection under balanced harvesting is approximately an order of magnitude weaker than in a standard fishery in which fish experience a fixed rate of fishing mortality after recruitment. The benefit of balanced harvesting follows from relatively little fishing on large fish, due to the low somatic production rates the big fish have. These results therefore support the general argument for protecting big, old fish, both for ecological and for evolutionary reasons. Slot fisheries that protect large fish share some qualitative features with balanced harvesting and show similar evolutionary benefits.
CitationLaw R, Plank MJ (2018). Balanced harvesting could reduce fisheries-induced evolution. Fish and Fisheries. 19(6). 1078-1091.
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Keywordsadaptive dynamics; ecosystem dynamics; fishing-induced selection; life history evolution; production rate; size spectrum
ANZSRC Fields of Research30 - Agricultural, veterinary and food sciences::3005 - Fisheries sciences::300505 - Fisheries management
30 - Agricultural, veterinary and food sciences::3005 - Fisheries sciences::300502 - Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
31 - Biological sciences::3104 - Evolutionary biology::310408 - Life histories
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Zhou S; Kolding J; Garcia SM; Plank MJ; Bundy A; Charles A; Hansen C; Heino M; Howell D; Jacobsen NS; Reid DG; Rice JC; van Zwieten PAM (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019)© 2019, The Author(s). Balanced harvest has been proposed to reduce fishing impact on ecosystems while simultaneously maintaining or even increasing fishery yield. The concept has attracted broad interest, but also received ...
Plank MJ; Allen MS; Nims R; Ladefoged TN (Elsevier BV, 2018)Establishing whether pre-industrial societies caused significant harvesting impacts on fish stocks is often hindered by the paucity of historic evidence. Some archaeological assemblages contain information on the sizes ...
Hackney M; James A; Plank MJ (Elsevier BV, 2019)Fisheries management strategies in which large fish are selectively targeted and younger, smaller fish are protected can lead to disruption of stocks, truncation of the population size spectrum, and impaired recruitment. ...