OPINION: Overfishing and the replacement of demersal finfish by shellfish: an example from the English Channel
overfishingdemersal finfishshellfishEnglish Channel
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The worldwide depletion and collapse of major fish stocks through intensive industrial fishing has raised many concerns about the sustainability of current fishing practices and the effectiveness of existing management measures (Christensen et al., 2003; Baum and Worm, 2009; O’Leary et al., 2011). Long-term data series such as fishery statistics have been analysed extensively in recent decades to assess changes in fish populations and ecological communities (Pauly et al., 2001; Pinnegar et al. 2002; Pauly and Chuenpagdee, 2003). Since Pauly et al.’s (1998) pioneering work, the phenomenon of “Fishing Down Marine Food Webs” has been investigated worldwide. The trend for fisheries shifting towards much smaller species found lower in the food chain as predatory species have been depleted has been demonstrated in many marine regions around the world through declines in the mean Trophic Level (mTL) of fisheries landings (Table 1). A study by the authors focused on the English Channel, a region with a long history of human exploitation where this assessment has never been performed before...
Molfese, C., Beare, D., and Hall-Spencer, J. (2014) 'OPINION: Overfishing and the replacement of demersal finfish by shellfish: an example from the English Channel', The Plymouth Student Scientist, 7(2), p. 212-216.
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The Plymouth Student Scientist