Never off the hook: how fishing subverts predator-prey relationships in marine teleosts

Meekan, Mark G., McCormick, Mark I., Simpson, Stephen D., Chivers, Douglas P., and Ferrari, Maud C.O. (2018) Never off the hook: how fishing subverts predator-prey relationships in marine teleosts. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6. 157. pp. 1-10.

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Although the behavior of most organisms evolves in response to harvest, teleost fishes in marine systems have remained susceptible to the same basic fishing techniques of hook and lines and nets for millennia. We argue that this has occurred because these techniques circumvent the evolutionary arms race that exists between all other non-human marine predators and their fish prey that codifies effective tactics of foraging and predator evasion. By removing size relationships between predator and prey, avoiding predator recognition, disrupting learning cues and through the rapid evolution of technology, fishing by humans subverts natural processes of selection on fishes that act to reduce mortality to non-human predators. This engenders high capture efficiency and explains why non-human predators in marine systems are forced to focus on naive and young individuals as prey, whereas humans are able to target adult fishes. Our very high rates of harvest and disruption of predator-prey relationships shifts the morphology and life history of target species toward traits (small adult size etc.) that are a disadvantage in situations where they must avoid non-human predators and thus has the potential to contribute to reduced resilience of fished populations and impair the recovery of stocks when harvesting ceases.

Item ID: 56659
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2296-701X
Keywords: predator recognition, learning, alarm cue, social facilitation, size-structure, trophic, sensory
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Meekan, McCormick, Simpson, Chivers and Ferrari. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), University of Saskatchewan
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 07:42
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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