Selection is a pretty fundamental process underlying phenotypic evolution. In the context of fisheries induced evolution, much of the argumentation has been based on the qualitative assumption that fishing targets large individuals, thus selecting for decreased age and size at maturation. More recently, people have started to realize that the case may not be as simple and that - in fact - quite little is actually known about selection pressures associated to fishing.
This debate in mind, I one day typed ‘fishing gear’ and ‘selection’ into the search line in the web of science and discovered that fishing gear selectivity is an intensively investigated field of (traditional) fisheries science. I spent one week on a sunny terrace, and read > 100 articles about selectivity of trawls, gillnets, longlines, seine net etc, and this perspective article merged from the literature survey:
Kuparinen A, Kuikka S, Merilä J. (2009) Estimating fisheries-induced selection: traditional gear selectivity research meets fisheries-induced evolution. Evolutionary Applications (in press) <
In this paper we investigate what is known about the traits targeted by commonly applied fishing gears, and discuss this in the context of fisheries induced evolution. As the paper provides much information about fisheries induced mortality associated to different phenotypic traits and gears, one can also consult it when wondering which gear to choose when hunting for a giant fish…