Fish life histories are subject to ongoing changes due to fishing as well as changes in both environment and in species interactions. Populations are becoming dominated by fast life histories; that is , by young, early, and small maturing individuals while old, large individuals become scarcer.
Individual life histories form the basis of population dynamics and may therefore have an impact on the demographic processes at population level, but also on the ecosystem dynamics through the species interactions. As such, life history changes can have far-reaching consequences on species and population productivity, resilience to fishing and environmental changes, and the ability to recover from low abundances, for example following overfishing.
While the detection and nature of life history changes has received substantial interest among fisheries ecologists, relatively little is known about the ecological, fisheries, and conservational consequences. Understanding these is particularly important for setting sustainable harvesting strategies and to protect the long-term productivity of stocks.
This theme session welcomes presentations covering the fields of fisheries biology, fundamental life history research in fish, and single- and multispecies modelling, with particular emphasis on:
Across this broad range of research fields and perspectives, our session aims to address the question: how can changes in fish life histories affect fished populations and ecosystems?