Keep big fish in their small ponds -- or in the ocean, says research

Nov 27, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists at the University of Toronto analysed Canadian fisheries data to determine the effect of the "keep the large ones" policy that is typical of fisheries. What they found is that the effect of this policy is an unsustainable fishery.

In fact, the opposite policy (keep the small young ones and throw back the large old ones) would result in a more sustainable fishery. In short -- a big fish in the water is worth two in the net.

Put simply, a fish population will produce more young -- and therefore sustain more fishing -- if it is made up of big, old fish.

The team of scientists, led by Paul Venturelli, a graduate student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, used a simple population model, as well as evaluating data from 25 marine fish species. They also tailored their methods to allow for other possible causes for the results, such as the effect of climate.

Finding ways to replenish fishery stocks and improve management provides both ecological and financial benefits.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Provided by University of Toronto

Explore further: Weather-tracking tool helps track migrating insects

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change affecting species

Sep 30, 2014

The Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute (GCSRI) and the Wits Rural Facility (WRF) hosted a top climate change scientist, Professor Camille Parmesan, who delivered a talk to staff, students ...

India turns to nuclear as energy crisis deepens

Sep 28, 2014

India's new prime minister is turning to nuclear energy to ease a power crisis made worse by the cancellation of hundreds of coal mining permits, but he faces scepticism both at home and abroad.

Recommended for you

Weather-tracking tool helps track migrating insects

38 minutes ago

Corn earworms (also known as cotton bollworms) cost cotton producers an estimated $200 million a year in lost crops and control expenses, and they are notoriously hard to track because they migrate at night. ...

Study shows sharks have personalities

12 hours ago

Some sharks are 'gregarious' and have strong social connections, whilst others are more solitary and prefer to remain inconspicuous, according to a new study which is the first to show that the notorious ...

Alaska refuge proposes killing invasive caribou

15 hours ago

Federal wildlife officials are considering deadly measures to keep an Alaska big game animal introduced more than 50 years ago to a remote island in the Aleutians from expanding its range.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

DGBEACH
not rated yet Nov 28, 2008
'Makes sense to me. Why didn't we think of this when we were trying to save the cod fishery in the maritimes?