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


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Brown, CJ, Hobday, AJ, Ziegler, PE and Welsford, DC 2008 , 'Darwinian fisheries science needs to consider realistic fishing pressures over evolutionary time scales' , Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 369 , pp. 257-266 , doi: 10.3354/meps07601.

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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
Authors/Creators:Brown, CJ and Hobday, AJ and Ziegler, PE and Welsford, DC
Keywords: Fishery-driven evolution · Evolution · Fisheries · Heritability · Life history · Selection · Individual-based model
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Ecology Progress Series
ISSN: 0171-8630 / 1616-1599
DOI / ID Number: 10.3354/meps07601
Additional Information:

Copyright © 2008 InterResearch

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