Harvest selection on Atlantic cod behavioral traits: implications for spatial management

Olsen, Esben Moland, Heupel, Michelle R., Simpfendorfer, Colin A., and Moland, Even (2012) Harvest selection on Atlantic cod behavioral traits: implications for spatial management. Ecology and Evolution, 2 (7). pp. 1549-1562.

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Abstract

Harvesting wild populations may contrast or reinforce natural agents of selection and potentially cause evolutionary changes in life-history traits such as growth and maturation. Harvest selection may also act on behavioral traits, although this field of research has so far received less attention. We used acoustic tags and a network of receivers to monitor the behavior and fate of individual Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua, N= 60) in their natural habitat on the Norwegian Skagerrak coast. Fish with a strong diel vertical migration, alternating between shallow- and deep-water habitats, had a higher risk of being captured in the fishery (traps, gillnet, hand line) as compared to fish that stayed in deeper water. There was also a significant negative correlation between fish size (30–66 cm) and the magnitude of diel vertical migration. Natural selection on behavior was less clear, but tended to favor fish with a large activity space. On a monthly time scale we found significant repeatabilities for cod behavior, meaning that individual characteristics tended to persist and therefore may be termed personality traits. We argue that an evolutionary approach to fisheries management should consider fish behavior. This would be of particular relevance for spatial management actions such as marine reserve design.

Item ID: 23239
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-7758
Additional Information:

© 2012 The Authors. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2012 05:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 40%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070402 Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment @ 60%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 100%
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