Consistent size-independent harvest selection on fish body shape in two recreationally exploited marine species
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Ecology and Evolution
Volume 4, Issue 11, pages 2154–2164, June 2014
How to Cite
Ecology and Evolution 2014; 4(11):2154–2164
- Issue published online: 3 JUN 2014
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 25 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Received: 22 NOV 2013
- REC2. Grant Number: #CTM2011-23835
- Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competiveness (MINECO)
- Marie Curie Post-Doc. Grant Number: 327160
- German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Grant Number: 01UU0907
- Leibniz Competition. Grant Number: SAW-2013-IGB-2
- fisheries-induced selection;
- geometric morphometrics;
- predator–prey interactions;
- recreational fishing
Harvesting wild animals may exert size-independent selection pressures on a range of morphological, life history, and behavioral traits. Most work so far has focused on selection pressures on life history traits and body size as morphological trait. We studied here how recreational fishing selects for morphological traits related to body shape, which may correlate with underlying swimming behavior. Using landmark-based geometric morphometrics, we found consistent recreational fishing-induced selection pressures on body shape in two recreationally exploited marine fish species. We show that individuals with larger-sized mouths and more streamlined and elongated bodies were more vulnerable to passively operated hook-and-line fishing independent of the individual's body size or condition. While the greater vulnerability of individuals with larger mouth gapes can be explained by the direct physical interaction with hooks, selection against streamlined and elongated individuals could either involve a specific foraging mode or relate to underlying elevated swimming behavior. Harvesting using passive gear is common around the globe, and thus, size-independent selection on body shape is expected to be widespread potentially leaving behind individuals with smaller oral gapes and more compact bodies. This might have repercussions for food webs by altering foraging and predation.