EvoFish News

  EvoFish has moved (virtually)
  The EvoFish website is now exclusively serviced at its new location. Please use this address for up-to-date news and infos.
  EvoFish at ICES ASC 2010
  The EvoFish members Mikko Heino, Jennifer Devine, Beatriz Diaz Pauli, Ingrid Wathne and Fabian Zimmermann contributed with Talks and Papers to the Annual Science Conference of ICES in Nantes. The presentations were part of the session about fisheries-induced adaptive changes and their consequences, convened by Adrian Rijnsdorp, Mikko Heino and Ulf Diekmann.
  EvoFish at Natural Resource Modeling Conference
  The EvoFish members Mikko Heino and Fabian Zimmermann successfully participated in the 2010 World Conference of the Resource Modeling Association in Helsinki. Fabian Zimmermann presented his study about harvest feedback rules for fish stocks under consideration of size-dependent effects and received an award for outstanding student presentation, as well as Xiaozi Liu for the presentation of her collaboration with Mikko Heino.
  Lennart Persson visits EvoFish
  Professor Lennart Persson from University of Umeå is visiting EvoFish. Lennart is world-renown for his work on population and community dynamics of aquatic systems. He has co-authored numerous papers in PNAS and is no stranger to Nature and Science.
For more see: http://www.emg.umu.se/english/about-the-department/staff/persson-lennart
  Third EvoFish Annual Meeting
  The third annual meeting of the EvoFish took place on March 15th at the Fløien Folkerestaurant on top of Mount Fløyen. Contents of the meeting were group discussions and outlining future project plans as also the official appraisal of the parting EvoFish founding member Katja Enberg and Christian Jørgensen.
The attendees of this years meeting were the EvoFish group members and the honorary guest Olav Moberg.
  Article in Klassekampen
  EvoFish member Anders Frugård Opdal published an essay with the title "Det industrielle fi skeriets effekter neglisjeres av fi skeriforvaltningen. Et klimaspørsmål?" in the newspaper Klassekampen. The article discusses the causes behind the developments in fish stocks and stock collapses, focussing on the tendency to blame climate change while ignoring the impact of the fisheries, and can be found here (only in Norwegian).
  EvoFish in Trondheim
  Professor Gunilla Rosenqvist and her colleagues from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) are working with guppies that were collected from Trinidad in 1998. Bea and Mikko from EvoFish were visiting the lab to learn about their experiences and to discuss our planned experiments.
  EvoFish at the Applied Evolution Summit
  Mikko Heino from EvoFish joined the Applied Evolution Summit, an international colloquium to discuss all things evolutionary.
Applied Evolution Summit took place January 3-8, 2010, on Heron Island, Queensland, Australia. The main themes that were discussed were the environment, health, and food. Evolution is around us, whether we want it or not, and ignoring it can have dramatic consequences. In some areas, such as in agriculture and in medicine, managing evolution is commonplace. In some areas, awakening has only started. EvoFish was there to represent - surprise - fish and fisheries, a relative newcomer to the field of applied evolution. See http://www.evolutionsummit.org/
  EvoFish welcomes a new postdoc member
  Jennifer Devine is employed by the Population Genetics and Ecology group at the Institute of Marine Research. Currently, Jennifer is estimating probabilistic maturation reaction norms in Barents Sea haddock.
She previously worked as a fisheries scientist in the Middle depth fisheries and acoustics group at NIWA (Wellington, NZ) for 3 years. jennifer worked there on a variety of projects including:
  • mesopelagic studies on the Chatham Rise, seamounts, and in the Arabian Sea
  • analyses of commercial fisheries and research survey data
  • participation in acoustic and trawl surveys
  • completion of ex situ target strength experiments of myctophids and paddle crabs
During her doctorate, Jennifer analyzed trends in deep-sea and shelf species in the Canadian Northwest Atlantic. Her MSc work was a bioenergetics study of Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior.
  Articles about a social experiment on sustainable harvesting
  Several articles in Norwegian science magazines have recently reported the results of a social experiment conducted by Beatriz Diaz Pauli and Mikko Heino within the premises of the Department of Biology and the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen with the collaboration of Dorothy Jane Dankel.

The experiment consisted in the assessment of the ability of several groups of persons to sustainably manage a common resource of candy fish in bowls. The results somehow differed from the researchers' expectations and are presented in the University magazine HUBRO (Norwegian, Bokmål) and on forsking.no (Norwegian, Nynorsk).
  Article about EvoFISH on Conservation Maven
  An article devoted to the research group and including a joint interview of Mikko Heino and Christian Jørgensen, following the recent publications in Evolutionary Applications has been published on the website Conservation Maven , an online hub for the conservation community, professionals and others.
The article can be seen following this link.
  Sonya Auer is Visiting to Develop Guppy Model
  This summer Sonya Auer, a PhD student at the University of California Riverside with Professor David Reznick, is visiting Evofish to develop a life history model for guppies.
During four months from June through September, she has been working closely with researcher Christian Jørgensen on a state-dependent life history model for guppies. Her aim is to combine model predictions with results from her feeding experiments to investigate the influence of individual state and food availability on strategies for growth and reproduction in the Trinidadian guppy.
Her husband Ron Bassar, also a PhD student at the University of California Riverside, is accompanying her in Bergen.
  Evolutionary Applications Special Issue
'Toward Darwinian Fisheries Management' Published
  The special issue originates from the symposium entitled Evolving Fish, Changing Fisheries that EvoFish organized and sponsored at the American Fisheries Society annual meeting, August 17-21st, 2008 in Ottawa, Canada.
The special issue, edited by Erin Dunlop, Katja Enberg, Christian Jørgensen and Mikko Heino from EvoFish, contains an editorial and 12 research articles, addressing a wide spectrum of issues related to fisheries-induced evolution in both freshwater and marine environments.
The table of contents and links to papers can be found here. Evolutionary Applications offers free online access to all its articles in 2009.
  EvoFish welcomes Trinidadian guppies into its lab
  Two EvoFish members, Heikki Savolainen and Beatriz Diaz Pauli, spent 12 days in Trinidad and Tobago collecting individuals for the group's project: "Experimental approach on the study of evolutionary effects of fishing".
The fish belong to the Yarra river situated in the Northern Range of the island of Trinidad.
The collection of guppies was possible thanks to the collaboration of David Reznick and particularly thanks to kind help in the field of Andrés López-Sepulcre and Ron Bassar.
  Loïc Baulier Successfully Defended His Thesis
  Loïc Baulier successfully defended his PhD-thesis "Evolutionary and statistical modeling of life-time schedules of energy allocation in Atlantic herring and cod" on Friday 19th June. The opponents were Dr Peter Wright from the Marine Laboratory, Marine Scotland in Aberdeen, and Dr Tom Van Dooren from the Institute of Biology in Leiden, the Netherlands.
In the front the happy defendant Loïc Baulier after the defence. From the left: cosupervisor Christian Jørgensen, internal committee member Audrey Geffen, opponent Peter Wright, main supervisor Mikko Heino, cosupervisor Øyvind Fiksen, and opponent Tom Van Dooren.
  EvoFish Associate Dorothy Dankel Successfully Defended Her Thesis
  The public defense of the thesis "Building blocks of sustainability in marine fisheries management: Stakeholders, objectives, and strategies" took place on June 12.
The audience could enjoy a lively debate between Dorothy and the opponents, Verena Trenkel from Ifremer, France and Martin Pastoors from IMARES, the Netherlands.
  EvoFish Phd-student Trial Lecture and Defence
  EvoFish PhD-student Loïc Baulier defends his PhD-thesis "Evolutionary and statistical modeling of life-time schedules of energy allocation in Atlantic herring and cod" on Friday 19th June at 10:15 in Høyteknologisenteret, Stort Auditorium (room 2144).
Loïc will give his trial lecture "Natural mortality in fish populations - the importance of temporal and spatial scales" on Tuesday 16th June at 14:15 in Lite Auditorium, Datablokken 2nd floor (Høyteknologisenteret).
  Dorothy Dankel Defends Her Thesis in Fisheries Management
  EvoFish associate Dorothy Dankel from the Institute of Marine Research defends her thesis entitled "Building blocks of sustainability in marine fisheries management: Stakeholders, objectives, and strategies" on Friday, June 12. See here for more information.
  Erik Chapman Visits Evofish to Develop Tuna Model
  Erik W. Chapman is postdoc in the Large Pelagics Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, USA. His postdoc project aims at building a state-dependent life history model for Atlantic bluefin tuna as a theoretical tool to complement their field research activities.
For five weeks in April and May 2009 he visited Evofish to develop the model in collaboration with Christian Jørgensen and Øyvind Fiksen.
  David Boukal Begins a Position as Research Scientist
  EvoFish alumnus David Boukal has started his position as a research scientist at the Biology Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic . David will continue collaborating with EvoFish group members and working on projects related to sustainable harvesting and fisheries-induced evolution. He will now coordinate a two-year project "Monitoring man-made lakes: what can fisheries data and models tell us?" funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism , starting in September 2009. The project further involves the FishEcU group at the Institute of Hydrobiology in Ceske Budejovice and Dorothy Dankel from the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen . It will summarize what is known on long-term dynamics of several fish stocks in selected Czech man-made lakes, and link these data to models of optimal exploitation based on stakeholder preferences and models of fisheries-induced life history evolution. David's other projects will look at life histories and population dynamics of freswater invertebrates, with main focus on predatory insects, using a combination of modelling, field surveys and lab experiments.
  New EvoFish Group Member
  Ingrid Wathne is a former student at the University of Bergen and obtained her master's degree in Biodiversity, Evolution and Ecology in 2007, working in the Aquatic Behavioral Ecology group. In her master thesis she studied alpine daphnids at Finse, Norway, focusing on their different winter survival strategies. For the last 1,5 years she has been working at VilVite, Bergen Science Centre, where she made educational lessons in natural studies for primary school children.
Ingrid has now joined the EvoFish group to start her 4-year PhD studies. In her project Ingrid will use daphnids as model species to do experiments to study fisheries-induced evolution.
  New EvoFish Group Member
  Dr Chandana Nissanka from Sri Lanka has recently joined the EvoFish group. Dr Nissanka finished his masters in Zoology in 1995 at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, after which he worked in the Sri Lankan Ministry of Fisheries as a fishery biologist and at the National Aquaculture Development Authority as an aquaculturist.
Dr Nissanka got his PhD from the University of Kelaniya in 2001, with a thesis entitled "Empirical models for fish yield prediction in selected reservoirs in the dry zone of Sri Lanka".
In EvoFish Dr Nissanka will be analysing Barents Sea winter survey data collected by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.
  Second EvoFish Annual Meeting
  The second annual meeting of the EvoFish group was held 19th to 21st February in Ustaoset at the University cottage Ottesheim. During the 3 days of the meeting individual project presentations and group discussion were alternated with skiing, Nordic meals and lots of social gathering.
The attendees of this years meeting were the EvoFish group members, the honorary guest Olav Moberg and soon-to-be-member Ingrid Wathne who will start her PhD-work with us next month.



  New Papers by EvoFish Members
  EvoFish Phd-student Loïc Baulier has published a paper together with one of his supervisors, Mikko Heino in the Journal of Fish Biology. The paper assesses the performance of a regression method aimed at detecting maturation from growth trjectories, and uses data from the Norwegian spring-spawning herring.
In the current issue of Ecology EvoFish researchers Christian Jørgensen, Anders Opdal, Øyvind Fiksen, and EvoFish alumnus Erin S. Dunlop publish a paper on the effects of fisheries-induced evolution for spawning migrations of North East Arctic cod.
L. Boulier and M. Heino 2008.
Norwegian spring-spawning herring as the test case of piecewise linear regression method for detecting maturation from growth patterns
Journal of Fish Biology, 73:2452-2467.

C. Jørgensen, E. S. Dunlop, A. F. Opdal, and Ø. Fiksen 2008.
The evolution of spawning migrations: state dependence and fishing-induced changes
Ecology, 89:3436-3448.

  New Book Chapters by EvoFish Members
  Mikko Heino and Katja Enberg have written a chapter on Sustainable use of populations and overexploitation that has come out in the online Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
Katja Enberg has also coauthored a book chapter that appeared in the Resiliency of gadid stocks to fishing and climate change. The chapter is entitled Decline and recovery of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks throughout the North Atlantic
M. Heino and K. Enberg 2008.
Sustainable use of populations and overexploitation
In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.

G.R. Lilly, K. Wieland, B. Rotschild, S. Sundby, K. Drinkwater, K. Brander, G. Ottersen, J. Carscadden, G. Stenson, G. Chouinard, D. Swain, N. Daan, K. Enberg, M. Hammill, A. Rosing-Asvid, H. Svedäng, and A. Vázquez 2008.
Decline and recovery of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) stocks throughout the North Atlantic
In Resiliency of gadid stocks to fishing and climate change. Edited by G.H. Kruse, K. Drinkwater, J.N. Ianelli, J.S. Link, D.L. Stram, V. Wespestad, and D. Woodby. Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Fairbanks, Alaska. Pp 39-66.
  Erin Dunlop begins a new position as Research Scientist
  EvoFish alumnus Erin S. Dunlop has started a new position as the Upper Great Lakes Research Scientist for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Canada.
The position involves conducting research on the fish and ecosystems of Lakes Huron and Superior, two of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The lakes are home to economically important commercial and recreational fisheries and face a variety of stressors, most notably from the invasion of exotic species, harvesting, and climate change. Erin hopes to continue collaborating with EvoFish group members and working on projects related to sustainable harvesting and fisheries-induced evolution.
  New EvoFish PhD Student
  Fabian Zimmermann from Switzerland started working on his PhD within the recently launched bioeconomics project. Fabian obtained his Master's degree in biology with major in zoology at the University of Bern, Switzerland, in 2007. His main field was thereby population genetics and his master thesis was about the impact of alternative splicing on the recent human genome evolution. After finishing his studies he gained some practical experience in a completely different field while he was working one year at the bank PostFinance in the area of money laundering detection and prevention.
Fabian has joined the EvoFish group to start his 3-year PhD studies. His work will be part of the recently launched bioeconomics project and focus primarily on modelling the bioeconomic effects of fisheries induced evolution.
  Evolving Fish, Changing Fisheries Symposium a Success!
  EvoFish organized a symposium on fisheries-induced evolution at the 2008 American Fisheries Society annual meeting in Ottawa, Canada. Keynote presentations were given by David Conover, Ulf Dieckmann, Jeffrey Hutchings and EvoFish group leader Mikko Heino. The symposium was well attended and included lively questions and discussion from the audience.
EvoFish contributions included presentations on fisheries-induced evolution of natural mortality by Christian Jørgensen, the ecological and societal impacts of fisheries-induced evolution by Katja Enberg, and on marine protected areas as a management tool for mitigating the evolutionary impacts of fishing by Erin Dunlop. A full list of presentations can be found here.
Many thanks go to our symposium presenters, the audience for their participation, and to the American Fisheries Society for the chance to hold the symposium. All presenters will have the chance to submit their work to a special issue of Evolutionary Applications devoted to evolutionary changes in fish populations and their implications for management. We hope this special issue will provide an important means for sharing compelling, innovative, and cutting-edge research on fisheries-induced evolution.
Photo courtesy of Dorothy Dankel
  EvoFish Organizes Working Retreat to Harkness Research Station
  Several friends and colleagues of EvoFish visited the Harkness Laboratory of Fisheries Research in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada on August 17-20th, 2008. The visit included group meetings on research projects related to fisheries-induced evolution, presentations for the upcoming American Fisheries Society meeting, tour of Lake Opeongo, and an introduction to the history of the research station and Algonquin Park.
Participants included Dorothy Dankel of the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, Ulf Dieckmann of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, Anne Maria Eikeset of the University of Oslo in Norway, Ane Timenes Laugen of the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea, Scott Milne of Milne Technologies, Heidi Pardoe of the Marine Research Institute in Iceland, and Mikko Heino and Erin Dunlop of EvoFish. Sincere thanks go to Mark Ridgway, Gary Ridout, Peggy Darraugh, Gabby Liddle and the staff of Harkness for welcoming us.
From left to right: Heidi Pardoe, Ane Laugen, Anne Maria Eikeset, Scott Milne, Erin Dunlop, Ulf Dieckmann, Mikko Heino, and Dorothy Dankel. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Dankel.
More photos can be found here.
  EvoFish to Organize Symposium at International Conference
  EvoFish is organizing a symposium at the up-coming American Fisheries Society annual meeting (August 17th to 21st) in Ottawa, Canada. The annual meeting is typically attended by over 2000 fisheries professionals and researchers, making it an ideal venue for communicating innovative ideas and important issues in fisheries. The EvoFish symposium focuses on "Evolving Fish, Changing Fisheries" and features presentations by several prominent and world-renowned researchers including David Conover, Ulf Dieckmann, and Jeffrey Hutchings. The symposium aims to generate discussion and debate on the topic of contemporary evolution in fish populations and its importance to management.
More information, including a complete list of speakers and presentation titles, can be found here. Following the symposium, presenters will have the opportunity to submit papers to a special issue of Evolutionary Applications guest edited by EvoFish researchers on the topic of fisheries-induced evolution.
  FishACE Annual Meeting in Os
  Professor Mikko Heino and other members of the EvoFish group hosted the third annual meeting of the European Research Training Network FishACE, on July 21-25. The network includes PhD students, post-docs and senior scientists from nine partners in seven European countries: Austria, France, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Some 25 members of the network gathered to summarize their results from the past year and discuss further research. The agenda covered a wide range of topics and approaches in fisheries-induced evolution, ranging from simple theoretical models to statistical analyses of large datasets. The meeting took place in Solstrand near Bergen, and was followed by a two-day excursion including a stay at the UiB field station at Espegrend, a visit to the largest Norwegian fishing vessel Libas, and outdoor activities around the spectacular cliffs at Golten in the island of Sotra. The entire week was framed by truly summer-like temperatures and blue skies, shattering once and for all the reputation of Bergen as the European capital of rain.
Coffee break in Solstrand.

  EvoFish Participates in Fish Day in Bergen Museum
  EvoFish members took part in the organization of Fish day in the Bergen museum. The programme consisted of various kinds of activities, including reading otoliths organized by the Fisheries Ecology research group, a drawing competition, a selection of lectures, and the usual exhibitions at the museum.

Fishing was a very popular thing to do during the Fish Day!
Members of EvoFish organized fishing, where kids could fish figures of different species of fish, and on one side of these fish figures there were facts about the species life-history, and also, if applicable, some words about the fisheries-induced evolutionary changes in a given species.
A young participant is learning life-history information about mackerel.
  Two New EvoFish PhD Students
  After finishing her first Master's degree in advanced agronomy, Anne Courrat from France worked for two years as a project manager in farmers' associations in France. In 2006, Anne went back to studying in order to complete a Master's degree in fishery sciences at Agrocampus Rennes, France. Anne's master's thesis, written at the Research Laboratory of the Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences Center in Agrocampus Rennes, dealt with anthropogenic disturbance on the nursery function of estuarine areas for marine fishes and was mostly based on data analysis and modelling. Anne also worked as a research assistant in the same laboratory, developing fish indicators to evaluate the ecological status of estuaries within the Water Framework Directive (European Union Directive). Anne has also developed an online course for the French virtual University on Sustainable Development dealing with ecological interests of estuarine and coastal systems.
Anne has now joined EvoFish to start her 4-year PhD project. Her work will focus primarily on numerical and statistical approaches to study fisheries-induced evolution.
Beatriz Diaz Pauli from Spain obtained her degree in Biology from the University of Murcia, Spain, in 2005. After that, she moved to Finland for an internship, followed by a Master's degree at the University of Helsinki, working at Evolution of Reproductive Behaviour group. Beatriz carried out laboratory and field work with two fish species: the least killifish, Heterandria formosa, and the sand goby, Pomatoschistus minutus. In 2007 Beatriz moved to Turku, Finland, to work in the Åbo Akademi University in order to study how a changing environment influences sexual selection and mate choice in the sand goby.
Beatriz has now joined the Evofish group to start her 4-year PhD studies. In her project Beatriz will use guppies, Poecilia reticulata, as model species to create populations with fisheries-like disturbances and then assess the effects at different levels on the populations.
EvoFish Researchers Publish in a Special Issue of Evolutionary Applications on Salmonid Conservation and Management
  Professor Mikko Heino, together with several prominent authors, has published an article reviewing the evidence for fisheries-induced evolution in salmonids.
  In the same issue, postdoc Erin S. Dunlop published a paper on the fishing-induced evolution of migratory tactics in brook charr. The full table of contents for the special issue, edited by Robin Waples and Andrew Hendry, can be found here.
J.J. Hard, M.R. Gross, M. Heino, R. Hilborn, R.G. Kope, R. Law, and J.D. Reynolds. 2008.
Evolutionary consequences of fishing and their implications for salmon
Evolutionary Applications, 1:388-408.

V. Thériault, E.S. Dunlop, U. Dieckmann, L. Bernatchez, and J.J. Dodson. 2008.
The impact of fishing-induced mortality on the evolution of alternative life-history tactics in brook charr
Evolutionary Applications, 1:409-423.

  Managing Evolving Fish Stocks Discussed in Science
  The recent article in Science has received two commentary letters. These letters, together with the reply written by the EvoFish researchers Christian Jørgensen, Katja Enberg, Erin S. Dunlop, David Boukal, and Mikko Heino and coauthors, were published in the April 4 issue of Science. You can download the letter exchange as a pdf.
  EvoFish PhD Student Onboard Johan Hjort
  EvoFish PhD student Loïc Baulier took part in the first leg of the North-east Arctic cod survey (more in norwegian here) conducted by the Institute of Marine Research on spawning grounds around the Lofoten Islands.
Preliminary results indicate that despite the recording of high abundances during the winter survey and important landings at this period relatively low quantities of cod have been detected. This might be the consequence of a northward shift of the spawning areas. That hypothesis is corroborated by the record of higher number of spawning aggregations in the northern part of the sampled area and lower numbers in the southern part compared to the 2007 survey. Further analyzes of the acoustic recordings have nevertheless to be carried out to confirm these observations. More in norwegian in the IMR home pages.
  EvoFish Post Docs on Research Visit
  EvoFish post docs Christian Jørgensen and Katja Enberg are currently visiting Professor David Reznick at the Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside. Christian will study the importance of density on life-history evolution of guppies. Reznick's lab is a great place for working with questions related to life-history evolution in general and guppies in particular, because of the group's huge amount of expertise and data.
  EvoFish Post Doc Receives the Meltzer Prize
  Christian Jørgensen has been awarded the Meltzer Prize for young researchers 2007. This prize (100.000 NOK) is given to scientists in an early phase of their career (<35 years) that have made substantial scientific contributions while based at the University of Bergen. In the justification of the prize, Christian’s role in establishing EvoFish and the Policy Paper ‘Managing evolving fish stocks’ in Science is emphasized. Read more here (in Norwegian).
  Evolution of growth in Gulf of St Lawrence cod?
  In the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. , Mikko Heino and researchers in EvoFish and the Modelling Group discuss the evidence by Swain et al. (2007) documenting fisheries-induced evolution of growth in the Gulf of St. Lawrence cod. Heino et al. highlight the potential of the novel approach of Swain et al. (2007) but point to some important caveats in their analyses and conclusions. Most notably, Heino et al. argue that Swain et al. do not consider the influence that reproduction could have on the evolving trait, length-at-age 4, analysed in the study. As a significant proportion of the population is mature at age 4, temporal changes in reproductive investment or maturation schedule could contribute to the observed trends in length-at-age 4. In their reply, Swain and colleagues address this concern by analyzing trends in length at an earlier age, when fewer individual are mature; they also discuss the others concerns raised such as the lack of intercept in their statistical model and poor contrasts in the data that make robust conclusions difficult.
M. Heino, L. Baulier, D.S. Boukal, E.S. Dunlop, S. Eliassen, K. Enberg, C. Jørgensen, and Ø. Varpe. 2008.
Evolution of growth in Gulf of St Lawrence Cod?
Proc. Roy. Soc. B doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1429, Published online
  EvoFish Participation at the University of Bergen's Darwin Day
  In honour of Charles Darwin's birthday, the University of Bergen held a Darwin Day consisting of presentations and debate on the subject of evolution. EvoFish postdoc Erin S. Dunlop gave a presentation on "Fishing as an Evolutionary Force". The talk highlighted research being done in EvoFish on the topic of fisheries-induced evolution and the need for fisheries managers to adopt evolutionarily enlightened management.
Fishing as an Evolutionary Force
By Erin S. Dunlop
Many think of evolution as a process occurring over thousands or millions of years. It is increasingly being recognized, however, that evolution can be rapid - occurring on contemporary timescales that span years or decades. Fishing is the dominant source of mortality in many fish stocks with fishing mortality rates sometimes exceeding natural mortality rates by more than 400%. In the absence of fishing, it often pays individual fish to delay sexual maturation in favour of growing large, and thereby producing many offspring each year. However, in the presence of fishing, earlier sexual maturation is often favoured because individual fish have the chance to reproduce before being captured by the fishery. As life history traits such as maturation age and size, growth rate, and reproductive investment have heritable components and influence a fish's survival and reproductive success, it is no wonder that these traits have the potential to evolve in the presence of fishing. In this context, the relevant question is then how rapid will evolution occur in exploited fish populations and what will the consequences be. In this talk, I will discuss the available evidence for fisheries-induced evolution, what traits and behaviours are expected to evolve, what consequences such evolution has for ecosystems and society, and what tools are available for achieving evolutionary enlightened management.
  ICES Study Group Meeting
  The Study Group on Fisheries-Induced Adaptive Change (SGFIAC) recently established by The International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) had its second meeting in Copenhagen 20-25 January. The Study Group aims at assembling and reviewing empirical evidence of fisheries-induced changes, evaluating the impacts of existing management measures, developing tools to monitor and mitigate fisheries-induced adaptive changes, and relating the consequences of fisheries-induced adaptive changes to current management objectives.
The recent article with strong EvoFish contribution was based on the developments of the first SGFIAC meeting, and in this second meeting we again outlined some new and exciting topics for collaborative projects.
The next study group meeting will be organized in the beginning of 2009. In case you are interested in joining, or wish to get more information, contact Mikko Heino.
  EvoFish MSc Exam
  MSc student Johanna Myrseth had her master thesis exam on Friday 21 December. Her thesis is titled "Managing marine fish populations under uncertain estimates: What are the benefits of stock information?".
In her work Johanna studied with the help of population dynamical modelling what is the value of information in fisheries management, and whether some harvesting strategies might work better when there is more uncertainty in the stock estimates. Her work was very well received by her opponent Per Sandberg from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries.
Johanna is planning to continue with the subject, and is now starting to write an article about her master work with her supervisors Øyvind Fiksen, Mikko Heino, and Katja Enberg.
  Official EvoFish Opening
  The Department of Biology, faculty members, and representatives from the Bergen Research Foundation gathered to welcome Mikko Heino and the start of his research group (Evolutionary Fisheries Ecology) at the University of Bergen.
Welcome addresses were given by the head of the Department of Biology Jarl Giske, representatives of the Bergen Research Foundation Gerd Kvaale and Kåre Rommetveit, and the vice dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Rein Aasland.
EvoFish researchers also gave a joint scientific presentation on fisheries-induced evolution. Highlights include presentation of the compelling empirical trends in the probabilistic maturation reaction norms of the Northeast Arctic and Northern cod populations, predictions of slow evolutionary recovery of traits following moratoria and the impacts of evolution on migration distance, and a discussion of the need for Evolutionary Impact Assessments in the management of evolving fish stocks.
From the left: Johanna Myrseth, Erin S. Dunlop, Anders Frugård Opdal, Katja Enberg, Anne Christine Utne Palm, David Boukal, Øyvind Fiksen, Mikko Heino, Christian Jørgensen and Loïc Baulier.
The opening was ended with EvoFish presenting their own version of a traditional Norwegian song "En ekte lofottorsk er jeg" (I am a cod born in Lofoten). The lyrics follow, with the new, evolutionary verses in italics. In case you are interested in getting an english translation, please contact me.
En ekte Lofottorsk jeg er, for jeg er født i Henningsvær.
Fadderullan dei, fadderullan dei, fadderullandullan dei!
Den gang var jeg et torske-egg, nå er jeg voksen torsk med skjegg.
Da jeg var lite torskebarn, jeg passet meg for krok og garn.
Jeg gjemte meg for sild og sei. for alle ville spise meg.
Men tidene forandrer seg, er det no'n som krymper meg?
Bestefar sin eldre bror, han var virkli' kjempestor.
Men han ble solgt som fiskepinner, lenge før han falt for kvinner…
Min far han bar et annet gen, han var ikke stor og pen.
De andre barna lekte seg, mens han ble tidlig far til meg.

Men det fins garn av alle slag, jeg blir nok tatt en vakker dag.
Hvis én til slutt skal spise meg, så håper jeg at det blir deg!
  Postdoctoral Position Available
  EvoFish has a 3-year postdoctoral position available at the Department of Biology, University of Bergen. Applications are invited from candidates with experience in evolutionary ecology, behavioural ecology or fisheries biology and interest in modelling, experiments or statistics as well as in exploited organisms such as fish.
Relevant candidates can be biologists, but also bioeconomists, applied mathematicians, statisticians, or programmers. Irrespective of the background, knowledge of marine systems and fisheries will be considered beneficial. Certain knowledge of life history theory and population dynamics is also positive.
Please see the full announcement here. Closing date for applications is 12 January 2008.
We are looking forward to receiving your applications!
  Fisheries-Induced Evolution on the Radio
  Evofish postdoc Christian Jørgensen was interviewed for the popular science radio show Verdt å vite by the Norwegian public broadcast company NRK. In the interview (in Norwegian) Jørgensen explains what drives evolution in fish stocks and what is the importance of this phenomenon, particularly for the Norwegian ecosystems. The interview as an mp3 file is here.
  EvoFish Article in Media
  The recent article Managing Evolving fish stocks has received attention in media. Links to news stories here.
  EvoFish in the News
  University of Bergen internet newspaper På Høyden interviewed Christian Jørgensen and Mikko Heino about the recent paper and the EvoFish. Moreover, Department of Biology introduced EvoFish and its leader Mikko Heino in a recent news item.
  Managing Evolving fish stocks
  In the November 23rd issue of Science EvoFish researchers Christian Jørgensen, Katja Enberg, Erin S. Dunlop, David Boukal, and Mikko Heino, together with colleagues across Europe, draw attention to the evolutionary effects of fishing. The article presented in the journal's Policy Forum emphasizes that fisheries management should consider the evolutionary consequences of fishing, and discusses how evolutionary changes might influence, for example, recruitment processes or pre-cautionary reference points. In other words, the authors argue for the compelling case of adopting evolutionary enlightened management. The article introduces Evolutionary Impact Assessment as a new tool for evaluating the effects of fisheries-induced evolution on the utility derived from fish stocks. These assessments can be relatively simple, relying on available fisheries time series data, or more elaborate, utilizing evolutionary models to investigate how the utility derived from a stock develops under a given management strategy.
Why do we need Evolutionary Enlightened Management?
Commercially harvested fish stocks are subject to high rates of exploitation. In some cases, the mortality caused by fishing can exceed natural mortality by more than 400%. Such high mortality rates not only have an impact on population abundance, but can also have more hidden, and often overlooked, evolutionary effects. By drastically reducing survival to the next reproductive season or by selectively removing fish with certain characteristics (e.g., large body size), fishing can induce genetic changes in key life-history traits such as maturation age and size, growth rate, and reproductive investment. The evidence for fisheries-induced evolution is mounting: trends indicative of contemporary evolution have been detected in many commercial stocks including Northeast Arctic cod, Northern cod, and North Sea Plaice. Furthermore, such evolutionary changes can unfold within a matter of years, cause reduced body sizes of fish in the catch, and potentially take a long time to reverse. Presently, however, fisheries management does not include consideration of fisheries-induced evolution.
New ICES Study Group on Fisheries-induced Adaptive Change
Scientists are now studying the most effective ways of dealing with fisheries-induced evolution in fisheries management. The International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recently established a Study Group on Fisheries-Induced Adaptive Change (SGFIAC) to meet this challenge. This group met for the first time in Lisbon in February 2007. Mikko Heino is one of the three Study Group chairs together with Ulf Dieckmann (Austria) and Adriaan Rijnsdorp (The Netherlands).
The aims of this study group are to:
1. Assemble and review empirical evidence of fisheries-induced adaptive change and its consequences for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable exploitation of marine species within an ecosystem context.
2. Evaluate the impact of existing management measures and tools, such as minimum mesh and landing sizes, precautionary reference points, marine protected areas, and effort regulations, on fisheries-induced adaptive change.
3. Develop appropriate scientific and methodological tools to monitor and respond appropriately to risk to biodiversity and sustainable exploitation posed by fisheries-induced adaptive change.
4. Relate consequences of fisheries-induced adaptive change to current management objectives and evaluate possible more specific objectives for managing fisheries-induced adaptive change.
The next study group meeting is from January 21st to 25th 2008 in Copenhagen. In case you are interested in joining of wish to get more information contact Mikko Heino.
C. Jørgensen, K. Enberg, E.S. Dunlop, R. Arlinghaus, D.S. Boukal, K. Brander, B. Ernande, A. Gårdmark, F. Johnston, S. Matsumura, H. Pardoe, K. Raab, A. Silva, A. Vainikka, U. Dieckmann, M. Heino, and A.D. Rijnsdorp. 2007.
Managing Evolving Fish Stocks
Science 318: 1247-1248
  Two PhD Positions Available
  EvoFish has openings for two research fellows (PhD positions). Applications are invited from candidates with experience in evolutionary ecology, behavioural ecology or fisheries biology and interest in modelling, experiments or statistics as well as in exploited organisms such as fish. We plan to hire one fellow with the main focus on experimental work, and the other fellow with the main focus in modelling and data analyses.
Applicants must have achieved a masters degree or equivalent in biology or in bioeconomy, applied mathematics, statistics or programming, or have submitted their master thesis for assessment by the application deadline.
EvoFish is a young, international and dynamic group. At present there are nine scientists in EvoFish, and in 2008 the number will increase to about 12. We come from different research environments, and therefore represent broad experience in fisheries biology and management as well as related research fields such as population dynamics, life history theory, evolutionary ecology, behavioural ecology, ecophysiology, biological oceanography and applied mathematics. We have also broad methodological skills (statistics, modelling, experiments), and are internationally in the research front in research and method development in our field.
Please see the full announcement here. Closing date for applications is 20th December 2007.
We are looking forward to receiving your applications!
  Workshop on Size-structured Population Models
  EvoFish postdoc David Boukal takes an active role in the organization of the Workshop on Size-structured Population Models, to be held on 17-19 October 2007 in Umeå, Sweden.
The workshop will bring together nearly 30 scientists from Europe as well as USA. During three days, they will cover a broad range of topics in the rapidly expanding and evolving field of size-structured population models. The emphasis of the workshop will be on various modelling techniques, the interface of ecological and evolutionary models, and the impact of harvesting on size-structured populations.
The whole program is available at http://www.math.umu.se/Aktuellt/WorkshopInfo071017.pdf
  Evolution and Marine Protected Areas
  EvoFish postdoc Erin S. Dunlop will give a presentation at the European Symposium on Marine Protected Areas in Murcia, Spain, 25-28 September. The presentation will focus on research examining the propensity of marine protected areas to reduce the amount of fisheries-induced evolution in species with separate spawning and feeding grounds. The work is done in collaboration with EvoFish group leader Mikko Heino, with Marissa L. Baskett of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and with Ulf Dieckmann of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
Can marine protected areas alter the evolutionary impacts of fishing in a migratory species?
By Erin S. Dunlop, Marissa L. Baskett, Mikko Heino, and Ulf Dieckmann.
Abstract: Several recent theoretical and empirical studies have provided evidence that fishing is capable of inducing evolutionary changes in key life history traits. These evolutionary changes can have unwanted consequences, such as reduced body sizes in the catch, which might lead to a deterioration of the quality of the fishery. Therefore, managers need viable options for slowing, stopping, or reversing the evolutionary consequences of fishing. In this study, we explore one potential management strategy by developing and analyzing an eco-genetic model aimed at studying the effects of marine reserves on fishing-induced evolution. Our model advances previous theoretical approaches by including relevant genetic detail, evolution of multiple life history traits (i.e., maturation age and size, growth capacity, and reproductive investment), phenotypic plasticity, and density-dependent growth. We parameterize our model for a population of cod that undergoes an annual migration from feeding grounds to spawning grounds. Using our model, we explore the consequences of marine reserve location (either in the feeding grounds or in the spawning grounds), proportion of area protected, and rates of movement on the speed, direction, and magnitude of evolutionary responses. The results of our model underscore the importance of having an evolutionary perspective when implementing management strategies aimed at protecting commercially important fish stocks.
  A FinE Kick-Off in Bergen
  The European Research Network FinE on fisheries-induced evolution launches its activities with a kick-off meeting 24-28 September at Fjordslottet in Fotlandsvåg at Osterøy just oustide Bergen. The meeting is hosted and organized by Mikko Heino. Almost 40 researchers, working with statistics, molecular biology, theoretical modeling and experiments, will gather for intensive research planning.
FinE includes partners from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Their objective is ambitious:
  'Phenotypic case studies will document trends in life-history traits, including maturation, reproductive effort, and growth, relevant for the demography and productivity of exploited fish populations. Genetic analyses will elucidate the genetic basis of fisheries-induced evolutionary changes suggested by phenotypic analysis. Eco-genetic models will be designed for evaluating alternative hypotheses explaining the observed data; for assessing the ecological consequences of fisheries-induced evolution for the yield, stability, and recovery potential of exploited stocks; and for developing and comparing practical management options.'  

You can read more about the project on http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/EEP/FinE/
  EvoFish presentations at the ICES Annual Science Conference
  Members of EvoFish will give three presentations during the ICES Annual Science Conference this week in Helsinki:
Wed 19.09 08:30: Mikko Heino and Sondre Aanes:
Local spatial heterogeneity in blue whiting length structure
Thu 20.09 11:45: Mikko Heino and Ulf Dieckmann:
Fisheries-induced selection as a driver of biodiversity change in exploited populations
Thu 20.09 12:15: Katja Enberg and Mikko Heino:
Fisheries-induced life history changes in herring
In addition, Mikko Heino is coauthoring the following presentation which, will be given by Dorothy Dankel at the Institue of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway:
Thu 20.09 16:50: Dorothy J. Dankel, Ulf Dieckmann, and Mikko Heino:
Success in fishery management using harvest control rules derived from reconciling stakeholder objectives
Read more about the conference at http://www.ices.dk/iceswork/asc/2007/index.asp
  Can Fisheries-Induced Evolution Disrupt Mating Systems?
Maldivean fishermen unloading their catch at an export cage. Photo: Shahaama A. Sattar   In a forthcoming article in Bulletin of Marine Science, our former Masters Student Shahaama A. Sattar and co-workers present a model that predicts that the benefits of being hermaphrodite disappears under heavy fishing, potentially leading to the evolution of separate sexes.
Briefly, the shortened life expectancy removes the benefit of being the large male that is superior in competition for matings with females. Because most males would die much before reaching that stage, the evolutionary outcome predicted by their model is that half the individuals skip the initial period as female, and rather start their reproductive life directly as males. Read the preprint version of the manuscript for more details.
S.A. Sattar, C. Jørgensen, and Ø. Fiksen. In press.
Fisheries-induced evolution of energy- and sex-allocation
Bulletin of Marine Science [ preprint ]
Shahaama now works in the Maldivian government with management of marine living resources, including groupers.
  Theme Section on Fisheries-Induced Evolution in MEPS
  The April issue of Marine Ecology Progress Series presented a theme section discussing probabilistic maturation reaction norms and their application in fisheries science. Among other things, it featured a review by Ulf Dieckmann and Mikko Heino:
U. Dieckmann and M. Heino. 2007.
Probabilistic maturation reaction norms: their history, strengths, and limitations
Marine Ecology-Progress Series 335: 253-269. [ pdf ]

Other contributors to the theme section, in addition to the editors C.T. Marshall and H.I. Browman, are: M.A. Fukawaka, S.B.M. Kraak, R. Law, B.J. McAdam, K. Morita, J.E.Thorpe, and P.J. Wright.
The whole Theme Section can be downloaded for free by following this link:

  EvoFish news maintained by Loïc Baulier
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Evolutionary Fisheries Ecology
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  Erin S. Dunlop
  Katja Enberg
  Christian Jørgensen
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  Anders Frugård Opdal
  Øyvind Fiksen

Department of Biology, University of Bergen