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Behavioural responses to human‐induced change: Why fishing should not be ignored

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Change in behaviour is usually the first response to human-induced environmental change and key for determining whether a species adapts to environmental change or becomes maladapted. Thus, understanding the behavioural response to human-induced changes is crucial in the interplay between ecology, evolution, conservation and management. Yet the behavioural response to fishing activities has been largely ignored. We review studies contrasting how fish behaviour affects catch by passive (e.g., long lines, angling) versus active gears (e.g., trawls, seines). We show that fishing not only targets certain behaviours, but it leads to a multitrait response including behavioural, physiological and life-history traits with population, community and ecosystem consequences. Fisheries-driven change (plastic or evolutionary) of fish behaviour and its correlated traits could impact fish populations well beyond their survival per se, affecting predation risk, foraging behaviour, dispersal, parental care, etc., and hence numerous ecological issues including population dynamics and trophic cascades. In particular, we discuss implications of behavioural responses to fishing for fisheries management and population resilience. More research on these topics, however, is needed to draw general conclusions, and we suggest fruitful directions for future studies.

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