"Trophy Hunting" Leads to Smaller Fish

In Newsweek magazine, writer Lily Huang explores the impact of the selective hunting of animals by hunters and fishermen: namely, that the species involved tend to “miniaturize.” “The phenomenon has been most apparent in harvested fish: since fishing nets began capturing only fish of sufficient size in the 1980s, the Atlantic cod and salmon, several flounders and the northern pike have all propagated in miniature.” One possible upside mentioned in the Newsweek piece is that smaller animals may enjoy greater survivability. (Thought of in this sense, the taking of big fish for records might provide a sort of competitive advantage to the record-holders, as the population is literally shrunk by the loss of larger animals.)
As Nick Mills points out in the Maine Outdoor Journal, “a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the changes in size and reproductive behavior are caused far faster by human predation than by changes brought about by pollution or the introduction of alien species.”

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  • Chuck S

    “In Newsweek magazine, writer Lily Huang explores the impact of the selective hunting of animals by hunters and fishermen: namely, that the species involved tend to “miniaturize.”
    This has all the earmarks of junk science that Newsweek is famous for parroting. When hunters and anglers get involved as they usually do, the reverse occurs. We’ve gone through a growing up period in conservation during the past 25 years and currently organized fishing and hunting is rubbing off on the unaffiliated masses who purchase licenses and partake in these sports.
    Contrary to Lily’s position would be mine and that is that we are seeing bigger and better trophy fish and game now than fifty years back except in the very rare instance.
    “The phenomenon has been most apparent in harvested fish: since fishing nets began capturing only fish of sufficient size in the 1980s, the Atlantic cod and salmon, several flounders and the northern pike have all propagated in miniature.”
    The clue here lies in the sentence that mentions “fishing nets,” as commercial fishing is one of the primary reasons for poor fish stock, poor size of individuals and more. The commercials fish the stock until it’s near collapse and then move on, and all to often they do this with the blessing of our Fed regulators in many cases.
    “As Nick Mills points out in the Maine Outdoor Journal, “a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the changes in size and reproductive behavior are caused far faster by human predation,” want to bet that the predation in the many of the cases that Nick is speaking of has to do with commercial enterprise?