Can fisheries-induced evolution shift reference points for fisheries management?

Heino, M. ORCID:, Baulier, L., Boukal, D.S., Ernande, B., Johnston, F.D., Mollet, F.M., Arlinghaus, R., Dankel, D.J., et al. (2013). Can fisheries-induced evolution shift reference points for fisheries management? ICES Journal of Marine Science 70 (4) 707-721. 10.1093/icesjms/fst077.

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Biological reference points are important tools for fisheries management. Reference points are not static, but may change when a population's environment or the population itself changes. Fisheries-induced evolution is one mechanism that can alter population characteristics, leading to "shifting" reference points by modifying the underlying biological processes or by changing the perception of a fishery system. The former causes changes in "true" reference points, whereas the latter is caused by changes in the yardsticks used to quantify a system's status. Unaccounted shifts of either kind imply that reference points gradually lose their intended meaning. This can lead to increased precaution, which is safe, but potentially costly. Shifts can also occur in more perilous directions, such that actual risks are greater than anticipated. Our qualitative analysis suggests that all commonly used reference points are susceptible to shifting through fisheries-induced evolution, including the limit and "precautionary" reference points for spawning-stock biomass, B_lim and B_pa, and the target reference point for fishing mortality, F_0.1. Our findings call for increased awareness of fisheries-induced changes and highlight the value of always basing reference points on adequately updated information, to capture all changes in the biological processes that drive fish population dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biological reference points; Fisheries management; Fisheries-induced evolution; Population dynamics; Precautionary approach; Uncertainty
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Bibliographic Reference: ICES Journal of Marine Science; 70(4):707-721 (July 2013)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:23

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