Animals change fast in response to fishing, hunting and other human uses. "Harvest selection" can cause rapid and potentially harmful changes in exploited fish and other animals.
Killing large, healthy individuals of an exploited species can
have profound conservation and economic implications. Specifically, the widespread potential for transitively rapid and large effects on size- or life history-mediated ecological dynamics might imperil populations, industries, and ecosystems.Translated into English, it says catching the biggest fish can produce a population of runts. And it says so in fairly alarming terms, unusual for staid scientists.
Should we care? Yes. Can we do something? Yes. We can reconfigure our use of fish so that we're not giving a big survival advantage to the runts. So we don't end up like the fisherman in this satirical picture above. Tweet