Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 445034
Title Economic repercussions of fisheries-induced evolution
Author(s) Eikeset, A.M.; Richter, A.P.; Dunlop, E.S.; Dieckmann, U.; Stenseth, N.C.
Source Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (2013)30. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 12259 - 12264.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212593110
Department(s) Environmental Economics and Natural Resources
PE&RC
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) northeast arctic cod - life-history evolution - natural mortality - reference points - gadus-morhua - fish stocks - consequences - population - management - size
Abstract Fish stocks experiencing high fishing mortality show a tendency to mature earlier and at a smaller size, which may have a genetic component and therefore long-lasting economic and biological effects. To date, the economic effects of such ecoevolutionary dynamics have not been empirically investigated. Using 70 y of data, we develop a bioeconomic model for Northeast Arctic cod to compare the economic yield in a model in which life-history traits can vary only through phenotypic plasticity with a model in which, in addition, genetic changes can occur. We find that evolutionary changes toward faster growth and earlier maturation occur consistently even if a stock is optimally managed. However, if a stock is managed optimally, the evolutionary changes actually increase economic yield because faster growth and earlier maturation raise the stock’s productivity. The optimal fishing mortality is almost identical for the evolutionary and nonevolutionary model and substantially lower than what it has been historically. Therefore, the costs of ignoring evolution under optimal management regimes are negligible. However, if fishing mortality is as high as it has been historically, evolutionary changes may result in economic losses, but only if the fishery is selecting for medium-sized individuals. Because evolution facilitates growth, the fish are younger and still immature when they are susceptible to getting caught, which outweighs the increase in productivity due to fish spawning at an earlier age.
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