Does thermal plasticity affect susceptibility to capture in fish? Insights from a simulated trap and trawl fishery

Publication: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences8 September 2020


In fishes, physiological and behavioural traits can correlate with vulnerability to capture with fishing gears, highlighting the capacity of fisheries selection to drive phenotypic change in exploited populations. There remains a paucity of information regarding how different fishing gears may select on phenotypic traits and how relationships between individual traits and capture vulnerability change across environmental gradients. By simulating the capture process in a trawl and trap using wild minnows (Phoxinus phoxinus) acclimated to different temperatures, we investigated how contrasting fishing gears select on behavioural and physiological traits and how this selection is modulated by temperature. Despite similar risk of capture in each gear, selection differed between traps and trawls. Fish exhibiting low spontaneous activity were at greater capture risk in the trawl across all temperatures, while traps showed no selection except at 24 °C. No relationships between physiological traits and capture vulnerability were found, except between swim performance and trap capture vulnerability at 24 °C. This study demonstrates that fisheries selection on individual traits is likely context-specific, depending on both fishing gear type and environment.


Chez les poissons, des caractères physiologiques et comportementaux peuvent être corrélés à la vulnérabilité à la capture par des engins de pêche, ce qui souligne la capacité de la sélection par la pêche d’entraîner des modifications phénotypiques dans les populations exploitées. Peu d’information est toutefois disponible sur la sélection de différents caractères phénotypiques pouvant découler de différents engins de pêche et sur les variations des relations entre des caractères précis et la vulnérabilité à la capture le long de gradients de conditions ambiantes. En simulant le processus de capture dans un chalut et un casier de ménés sauvages (Phoxinus phoxinus) acclimatés à différentes températures, nous avons examiné la sélection de caractères comportementaux et physiologiques par différents engins de pêche, et comment la température module cette sélection. Malgré le fait que le risque de capture est semblable pour les différents engins, la sélection varie entre les casiers et les chaluts. Les poissons présentant une faible activité spontanée ont un plus grand risque de capture dans un chalut à toutes les températures étudiées, alors que les casiers ne font pas preuve de sélection, saduf à 24 °C. Aucune relation entre des caractères physiologiques et la vulnérabilité à la capture n’est relevée, sauf entre la performance de nage et la vulnérabilité à la capture par les casiers à 24 °C. L’étude démontre que la sélection par la pêche de caractères précis dépend probablement du contexte, notamment du type d’engin de pêche et du milieu ambiant. [Traduit par la Rédaction]

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Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences cover image
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume 78Number 1January 2021
Pages: 57 - 67


Received: 13 April 2020
Accepted: 16 August 2020
Published online: 8 September 2020


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Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
B. Koeck
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
A. Crespel
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
D.M. Bailey
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
S.S. Killen
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine, Graham Kerr Building, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.


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1. Links between behaviour and metabolic physiology in fishes in the Anthropocene
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