Ecology: Managing evolving fish stocks

  • Jørgensen C
  • Enberg K
  • Dunlop E
 et al. 
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Abstract

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Evolutionary impact assessment is a framework for quantifying the effects of harvest-induced evolution on the utility generated by fish stocks. Darwinian evolution is the driving process of innovation and adaptation across the world's biota. Acting on top of natural selection, human-induced selec tion pressures can also cause rapid evolution. Sometimes such evolution has undesirable consequences, one example being the spread ing resistance to antibiotics and pesticides, which causes suffering and billion-dollar losses annually (/). A comparable anthro pogenic selection pressure originates from fishing, which has become the main source of mortality in many fish stocks, and may exceed natural mortality by more than 400% (2). This has, however, been largely ignored, even though studies based on fisheries data and controlled experiments have provided strong empirical evidence for fisheries-induced evo lution over a range of species and regions (see table, page 1248). These evolutionary changes are unfolding on decadal time scales?much faster than previously thought.

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