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Darwinian fisheries science needs to consider realistic fishing pressures over evolutionary time scales

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Brown, CJ and Hobday, AJ and Ziegler, PE and Welsford, DC (2008) Darwinian fisheries science needs to consider realistic fishing pressures over evolutionary time scales. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 369. pp. 257-266. ISSN 0171-8630 / 1616-1599

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Abstract

The apparently intense selective differentials imposed by many fisheries may drive the rapid evolution of growth rates. In a widely-cited laboratory experiment, Conover & Munch (2002; Science 297:94–96) found considerable evolutionary change in the size of harvested fish over 4 generations. Their empirical model has since been used to estimate the impact of fishery-driven evolution on fishery sustainability. Using a mathematical, individual-based model (IBM) that simulates that experiment, we showed that the selection imposed in the Conover & Munch (2002) model is unrealistically strong when compared to harvest rates in wild fisheries. We inferred the evolutionary change that could be expected over the timescale used by Conover & Munch (2002), had they simulated more realistic harvest regimes, and found that the magnitude in their original experiment was 2.5 to 5 times greater. However, over evolutionary timescales of 30 generations and with realistic fishing pressure, the results of Conover & Munch (2002) are comparable to wild fisheries. This simulation result provides support for the use of empirical models to predict the impacts of fishery-driven evolution on yields and sustainability. Future models should consider the timing of fishing events, the trade-off between size, maturation and growth, and density-dependent effects for a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of fishery-driven evolution.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Fishery-driven evolution · Evolution · Fisheries · Heritability · Life history · Selection · Individual-based model
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
Page Range: pp. 257-266
ISSN: 0171-8630 / 1616-1599
Identification Number - DOI: 10.3354/meps07601
Additional Information: Copyright © 2008 InterResearch
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2009 04:08
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:54
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/8167
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