Project Details


The project is set up to investigate the prevalence of fisheries-induced evolutionary changes in life-history traits of exploited fish stocks in European and North American waters.

The aims are to unravel the underlying mechanisms of change ranging from the phenotypic to the genetic level, to evaluate their consequences on population and fisheries dynamics, and to provide recommendations for evolutionarily enlightened management. This objective necessitates the development and application of novel methodological tools for investigating field data both at phenotypic and genetic levels, together with the setup of relevant experiments on model species and the careful construction of theoretical models suitable for complementing field data analyses and for evaluating managerial options.

Earlier investigations have focused on specific aspects such as the analysis of long-term trends in phenotypic data, the investigation of temporal changes in neutral genetic markers, artificial fishing experiments, or the modeling of fisheries-induced evolutionary changes in life-history traits and their demographic consequences for exploited stocks. However, a comprehensive investigation of fisheries-induced evolution at the phenotypic and genetic level and of consequences on fish stocks dynamics are still largely missing, mostly because of the wide range of scientific expertises and approaches required for tackling these challenges.

This project aims at combining fields of expertise as diverse as population genetics and quantitative genetics, life-history theory, population dynamics, evolutionary theory, and fisheries science.

The project is coordinated by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria.

Research area: Population Genetics
Effective start/end date01/01/200731/12/2010

Collaborative partners

  • Technical University of Denmark (lead)
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Project partner)
  • CSIC (Project partner)
  • University of Wales (Project partner)
  • Netherlands Institute for Fisheries Research (Project partner)
  • German Federal Research Centre for Fisheries (Project partner)
  • University of Oslo (Project partner)
  • Institute of Marine Research (Project partner)
  • Marine Scotland (Project partner)
  • University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (Project partner)
  • KU Leuven (Project partner)
  • Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (Project partner)
  • Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Project partner)


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