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Domestication, comparative biology and interactions of wild and cultured fish: convenor's synthesis

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Aquaculture is expanding rapidly and many fish species are brought into cultivation, entering a process of domestication with consequences for their morphology, physiology, ecology and evolution. In some species the abundance of cultured populations matches or exceeds that of wild stocks, and interactions between cultured and wild fish can pose significant conservation challenges. At the same time, captive breeding and re‐introduction play an important role in the conservation of some of the world's most endangered fishes. Drawing on contributions from the FSBI Symposium and the wider literature, we synthesize current knowledge of the process and extend of fish domestication, interactions between cultured and wild fish, and the use of cultured fish in fisheries enhancement and restoration. We provide a perspective on the role of biological issues within the wider context of aquaculture development and aquatic conservation biology, and conclude with a discussion of promising avenues for further research.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Environmental Science & Technology, Imperial College, London SW7 2BP, U.K.; 2: FRS Freshwater Laboratory, Pitlochry, Perth PH16 5LB, U.K.; 3: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, University of California, Santa Cruz 95060, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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