Thursday June 6, 2024

Science Daily

A new genetic study found that heavy fishing in the early part of the fishing season may result in younger and smaller Atlantic salmon. This information can help to conserve large fish essential for the diversity and viability of salmon populations.

Atlantic salmon are caught by fisheries when the fish are migrating to spawn. A new study led by the University of Helsinki explored how salmon caught at different times during their spawning migration differ from each other genetically. The study on wild salmon in the northern Baltic Sea revealed that especially in the early part of the fishing season, fishing strongly targets salmon carrying a ‘large salmon genetic variant’. The variant guides Atlantic salmon to grow large and to mature at an older age, which is an important trait for the fishing and viability of salmon stocks.

Genetic analyses on thousands of wild salmon caught between 1928 and 2020 by fisheries from the northern Baltic Sea region showed that regardless of the year, fishers caught salmon with the ‘large salmon variant’ more often in the early than late fishing season.

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