Opposite selection on behavioural types by active and passive fishing gears in a simulated guppy Poecilia reticulata fishery
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This study assessed whether fishing gear was selective on behavioural traits, such as boldness and activity, and how this was related with a productivity trait, growth. Female guppies Poecilia reticulata were screened for their behaviour on the shy–bold axis and activity, and then tested whether they were captured differently by passive and active fishing gear, here represented by a trap and a trawl. Both gears were selective on boldness; bold individuals were caught faster by the trap, but escaped the trawl more often. Boldness and gear vulnerability showed weak correlations with activity and growth. The results draw attention to the importance of the behavioural dimension of fishing: selective fishing on behavioural traits will change the trait composition of the population, and might eventually affect resilience and fishery productivity.