MF23134Variations in life-history traits in exploited and unexploited populations of Perth herring (Nematalosa vlaminghi): evidence for density-dependent growth?
Fish in exploited populations tend to grow faster because they experience less density-dependent competition for resources. Faster-growing individuals mature younger or larger, potentially compensating for reproductive output lost because of fishing mortality. We compared growth in fished and unfished populations of Perth herring, a long-lived (20 years), anadromous fish endemic to south-western Australia. As hypothesised, fished populations displayed faster growth and earlier maturation. However, we suggest that faster growth does not fully compensate for the lower population resilience associated with a shortened lifespan in this species.