Genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management

Report from a multi-disciplinary workshop in Rönne, Bornholm, 25–26 October 2006

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This report summarizes talks, discussions and conclusions from a multi-disciplinary workshop on genetic consequences of fisheries and fisheries management held in Rönne, Bornholm in October 2006. The workshop was intended for fishermen, scientists, decision makers, managers and other stakeholders from the Nordic countries. The main objectives were to improve communication between parties involved in fisheries management present current knowledge regarding genetic consequences of fisheries, and highlight the importance of including genetic/biological data in the management of exploited fish species agree upon recommendations on how genetic considerations could be implemented in management and decision making processes.



Identification of populations and management units

Most exploited fish species are divided into genetically distinct local populations that evolve more or less as independent units (depending on the amount of genetic exchange between them). Natural selection may favour different gene variants in different geographic areas, and this could give rise to local adaptation, i.e. populations become adapted to different environmental conditions. Fishing and aquaculture may affect the genetic population structure in several ways. For example, extinction of genetically unique populations will result in loss of local adaptations and a reduced overall genetic diversity. Therefore, genetic population structure must be identified and accounted for in the management of exploited fish species.


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