Evolutionary ecology
Nature News

Ocean conservation: A big fight over little fish

Do size quotas have an evolutionary impact on fish populations? Mikko Heino and Jeppe Kolding are in a recent Nature News Feature.

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Professor Mikko Heino, from the EvoFish research group, is deeply involved in this question. His work is part of a recent Nature News Feature.

Heino’s earlier work on the question was published in Nature in 2004, and has opened up a new research field called Darwinian fisheries. Heino is now working to compare the genes of modern and 100 year-old cod populations to test whether genetic changes have occurred. He is also conducting a kind of “in-vitro” study involving guppies. Their shorter lifetimes make it possible to compress the time scale for possible size induced genetic changes in a population.

Associate Professor Jeppe Kolding, of the Fisheries Ecology and Aquaculture group, is also quoted in this Feature concerning his work in areas with traditional African fisheries where there are not size quotas. His results show that these areas “have food webs that are diverse, intact and resemble unharvested areas, only with lower biomass.”

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