Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institut für Agrar- und Gartenbauwissenschaften

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Albrecht Daniel Thaer - Institut für Agrar- und Gartenbauwissenschaften | Institut | Departments und Fachgebiete | Department für Nutzpflanzen- und Tierwissenschaften | Integratives Fischereimanagement | Publikationen | Behaviour-mediated alteration of positively size-dependent vulnerability to angling in response to historical fishing pressure in a freshwater salmonid

Behaviour-mediated alteration of positively size-dependent vulnerability to angling in response to historical fishing pressure in a freshwater salmonid

Abstract:Positively size-selective vulnerability to fishing is well established in recreational fisheries. Size-selective harvesting can either induce an indirect selection response of behavioural traits that are correlated with size or exert direct selection pressures on behaviours that contribute to vulnerability. In addition, learning to avoid future capture may always happen. Behavioural change caused by fishing may in turn affect the size-selective properties of angling. To test this prediction, field experiments with amago salmon (Oncorhynchus masou ishikawae) were conducted. We demonstrated that, as expected, large fish were more vulnerable than smaller individuals in a low fishing pressure (LP) stream and that positively size-selective angling was not (or no longer) present in a high fishing pressure (HP) stream. Moreover, fish in the HP stream were by far less vulnerable to angling with natural bait than fishes in the LP stream. Laboratory studies showed that offspring from HP streams were intrinsically shyer than offspring collected from LP streams. We propose that the increased timidity of individuals inhibiting HP streams disrupted the generally positive relationship among salmon body size and its vulnerability to angling. Fisheries-induced timidity in response to high exploitation rates reduces catchability, affects the size-selective properties of angling, reduces the value of fishery-dependent stock assessments, and potentially affects trophic interactions.