Implications of fisheries-induced evolution for stock rebuilding and recovery
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Fishing-induced evolution has the potential to change life-history and other characters of exploited stocks. Here we study the rebuilding and recovery of an exploited stock with en individual-based eco-genetic model parameterized for Atlantic cod. The short term (<20 years) rebuilding of stock biomass was only little affected by fishing-induced evolution. However, the evolving stock recovered to a new demographic equilibrium below the pre-harvest levels, and recovery to pre-harvest levels took thousands of years. These results exemplify the need for proactive management of fishing-induced evolution, as restoration of genetic traits is slow, or may even be impractical.