Azara Blog: The shrinking size of fish

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Date published: 2005/02/20

The BBC says:

The shrinking size of fish due to their overexploitation has dire consequences for the recovery of depleted stocks, scientists have claimed.

Fishing drives natural selection for smaller fish that grow more slowly and have reduced reproductive potential.

These changes are genetic and therefore hard to reverse, scuttling the renewal of dwindling fish populations.
"Most fisheries are collapsing and many are on the brink of potentially irreversible loss," said Jeremy Jackson, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.

"There are massive evolutionary shifts going on in the remnant populations of fish. Large fish with huge reproductive potential are being replaced by smaller fish with diminished reproductive potential," he told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The basic problem is that there are too many humans so there is too much fishing. Nobody (much) wants to address the underlying problem. Scientists are going to have to come up with reasonable, cheap, alternative global food sources and the governments of the world are going to have to act together or the fish will just disappear.

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