Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29/10/2014: BOFFF fish are the ones not to catch

A growing collection of research shows that big, old, fat, fertile female fish -- what scientists call BOFFFFs -- are critically important to ocean fisheries because they’re basically rockstars of reproduction, reports The Huffington Post.

Conventional wisdom has held that, in order to protect ocean stocks and maintain strong populations, fishermen should catch big fish but release smaller ones so that they can grow, produce eggs and continue the circle of life.

But in the October 2014 issue of the “ICES Journal of Marine Science”, three experts argue that fishing efforts should focus on medium sized fish, rather than snatching out and bragging about the huge ones.

“The loss of big fish [often] decreases the productivity and stability of fishery stocks,” explained Mark Hixon, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, who published the paper with California State University marine biologist Darren Johnson and NOAA Fisheries ecologist Susan Sogard. Such loss, the trio wrote, can lead to a fish population’s collapse.

Read more HERE.

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