Survival of the fittest: explanations for gadoid imbalance in heavily fish seas

Sophie A. M. Elliott, Brooke A. Allan, William R. Turrell, Michael R. Heath, David M. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

1.Anthropogenic activities have caused degradation of the world’s ecosystems, accelerating loss of biodiversity. In marine ecosystems, fishing has had strong impacts on fish populations and their habitats. However, not all species have responded equally to fishing pressure.
2. Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) and whiting (Merlangius merlangus) are of high commercial value throughout the North Atlantic. Despite having relatively similar life cycles, the state of stocks of these three species varies enormously, with whiting faring better than cod. Within the Firth of Clyde (southwest Scotland) this imbalance is especially accentuated, where small whiting now make up the greater proportion of the biomass.
3. In this study, cod, haddock and whiting recruitment to coastal areas, growth and bait attraction were explored within a marine protected area (MPA) in the Firth of Clyde. Over the course of summer 2013 and 2014, whiting and haddock arrived at coastal areas earlier than cod and grew faster. Cod were on average the smallest gadoid observed and whiting the largest. Whiting also had more predominant scavenging behaviour.
4. These results in combination with other life history and behaviour traits indicate that whiting may be at a competitive advantage over cod, and this
may partly explain the imbalance of gadoids in the Firth of Clyde. This study highlights the importance of considering life history differences in multi-
species fisheries management and how appropriately managed MPAs could help restore fish population and assemblage structure.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Early online date11 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • behaviour
  • fisheries management
  • life-history traits
  • recruitment
  • stereo-video cameras

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Survival of the fittest: explanations for gadoid imbalance in heavily fish seas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Research Output

    • 2 Citations
    • 7 Article

    Juvenile gadoids habitat association and ontogenetic shift observations using stereo-video baited cameras

    Elliott, S. A. M., Turrell, W. R., Heath, M. R. & Bailey, D. M., 24 Mar 2017, In : Marine Ecology Progress Series. 568, p. 123-135 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 10 Citations (Scopus)
    84 Downloads (Pure)

    Landscape effects on demersal fish revealed by field observations and predictive seabed modelling

    Elliott, S. A. M., Sabatino, A. D., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R. & Bailey, D. M., 11 Dec 2017, In : PLoS One. 12, 12, 13 p., e0189011.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    23 Downloads (Pure)

    An assessment of juvenile Atlantic cod distribution and growth using diver operated stereo-video surveys

    Elliott, S. A. M., Ahti, P. A., Heath, M. R., Turrell, W. R. & Bailey, D. M., 25 May 2016, In : Journal of Fish Biology. 41 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    101 Downloads (Pure)

    Cite this