Fisheries-induced evolution in Northeast Arctic cod

Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway

Anne Maria Eikeset

Anne Maria Eikeset

We are calibrating and applying an individual-based, eco-genetic model to predict how fishing influences the evolution of growth, reproductive investment, and maturation of Northeast Arctic (NEA) cod. This stock is currently the world’s largest stock of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and is economically very important. It sustains both large open-ocean trawling fisheries, mainly from Norway and Russia, as well as fishing with conventional gear along the Norwegian coast. In addition to characterizing the magnitude and rate of fisheries-induced evolution in NEA cod, we plan to evaluate how different management strategies alter the stock’s evolutionary response. Fisheries-induced life-history changes may alter the economic conditions of the cod fisheries and lead to changes in the fleet’s structure and allocation; this, in turn, may either enhance or diminish the ongoing changes. The final stage of this project will be to incorporate the fishery’s effect on the evolving traits into a bio-economic model, to assess the economic impacts of fisheries-induced evolution in NEA cod and to quantify the long-term costs of overfishing.

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Last edited: 25 March 2016

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