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Data and code from: Protection from fishing improves body growth of an exploited species

Citation

Sørdalen, Tonje Knutsen; Halvorsen, Kim Tallaksen; Olsen, Esben Moland (2022), Data and code from: Protection from fishing improves body growth of an exploited species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ht76hdrft

Abstract

Hunting and fishing are often size-selective which favours slow body growth. In addition, fast growth rate has been shown to be positively correlated with behavioural traits that increase encounter rates and catchability in passive fishing gears such as baited traps. This harvest-induced selection should be effectively eliminated in no-take marine-protected areas (MPAs) unless strong density dependence results in reduced growth rates. We compared the body growth of European lobster (Homarus gammarus) between three MPAs and three fished areas. After 14 years of protection from intensive, size-selective lobster fisheries, the densities in MPAs have increased considerably, and we demonstrate that females moult more frequently and grow more during each moult in the MPAs. A similar, but weaker pattern was evident for males. This study suggests that MPAs can shield a wild population from slow-growth selection, which can explain the rapid recovery of size structure following implementation. If slow-growth selection is a widespread phenomenon in fisheries, the effectiveness of MPAs as a management tool can be higher than currently anticipated.

Methods

For more info on the dataset, please contact one of the authors. 

Funding

Universitetet i Agder

Havforskningsinstituttet