Set a maximum landing size for commercially fished species
Overall effectiveness category Awaiting assessment
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Fishing can impact marine fish through species removal or habitat damage from fishing gear contacting the seabed. For many fish species the reproductive potential (e.g. the annual numbers of eggs/young produced by the females) increases with size and/or age. Removal of the larger fish from a population thus reduces the overall reproductive potential and may also apply a genetic selection pressure that favours fish that mature at a smaller size that may continue breeding (Borrell 2013). Setting a maximum landing size (i.e. the largest fish measurement – usually total length – at which it is legal to retain a fish) may protect the largest fish with the highest reproductive potential, thus helping to maintain the population.
For similar interventions, see ‘Protect Reproductive Individuals - Set a minimum landing size for commercially fished species’ and ‘Specify a size range of capture for commercially fished species’.
Borrell B. (2013) Ocean conservation: A big fight over little fish. Nature, 493, 597–598.