Expected rate of fisheries-induced evolution is slow

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


Commercial fisheries exert high mortalities on the stocks they exploit and the consequentselection pressure leads to fisheries induced evolution of growth rate, size at maturation, andreproductive output. Productivity and yields may decline as a result, but little is known aboutthe rate at which such changes are likely to occur. Fisheries-induced evolution of exploitedpopulations has recently become a subject of concern for policy makers, fisheries managersand the general public, with prominent calls for mitigating management action. We make ageneral evolutionary impact assessment of fisheries by calculating the expected rate of fisheries induced evolution and the consequent changes in yield. Rates of evolution areexpected to be on the order of 0.1--0.4 % per year. Resulting relative changes in fisheries yield are less than 0.5 % per year. These rates are much lower than published values basedon experiments and analysis of population time series and we explain why published valuesmay have overestimated the rates. Dealing with evolutionary effects of fishing is less urgentthan reducing the direct detrimental effects of overfishing on exploited stocks and on theirmarine ecosystems
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventICES/PICES/UNCOVER Symposium 2009 on Rebuilding Depleted Fish Stocks: Biology, Ecology, Social Science and Management Strategies - Warnemünde/Rostock, Germany
Duration: 3 Nov 20096 Nov 2009


ConferenceICES/PICES/UNCOVER Symposium 2009 on Rebuilding Depleted Fish Stocks

Cite this

Andersen, K. H., & Brander, K. (2009). Expected rate of fisheries-induced evolution is slow. Poster session presented at ICES/PICES/UNCOVER Symposium 2009 on Rebuilding Depleted Fish Stocks, Warnemünde/Rostock, Germany.