Flawed Fishing Policies Result in Fewer Fish
In an effort to maintain a steady population of fish, many fisheries have rules for minimum fish sizes or weights. If the fish is too small, it must be thrown back to give it more time to grow and reproduce.
But now scientists at the University of Toronto have found that this "keep the large ones" policy leads to an unsustainable fishery. Instead, they suggest the opposite - to keep the small fish, and throw back the bigger fish. That's because a fish population will produce more young if it has more big fish.
The researchers, led by graduate student Paul Venturelli, analyzed data from Canadian fisheries of 25 fish species. They then used a population model, controlling for factors such as climate, to determine the best method for managing fish populations to maximize both ecological and financial benefits.