Evolution of boldness and life-history in response to selective harvesting

Ken Haste Andersen*, Lise Marty, Robert Arlinghaus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

459 Downloads (Pure)


Whether intensive harvesting alters the behavioral repertoire of exploited fishes is currently unknown, but plausible. We extend a fish life-history model to account for boldness as a personality trait that affects foraging intensity, which affects energy intake and risk from predation and fishing gear. We systematically investigate life-history and behavioral trait evolution
along the boldness–timidity axis in response to the full range of common selectivity and exploitation patterns in fisheries. In agreement with previous studies, we find that any type of harvesting selects for fast life histories and that merely elevated, yet unselective, fishing mortality favors boldness. We also find that timid-selective fishing (which can be expected in species targeted by active gear types) selects for increased boldness. By contrast, increased timidity is predicted when fishing targets bolder individuals common to passive gears, whether in combination with selection on size or not. Altered behavior caused by intensive harvesting should be commonplace in nature, which can have far-reaching ecological, evolutionary, and managerial impacts. Evolution of timidity is expected to strongly erode catchability, which will negatively affect human well-being and influence the reliability of stock assessments that rely on fishery-dependent data
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)271-281
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of boldness and life-history in response to selective harvesting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this