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Vulnerability of seamount fish to fishing: fuzzy analysis of life‐history attributes

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Despite rather broad definitions, global analysis showed that seamount fishes, particularly seamount‐aggregating fishes, had higher intrinsic vulnerability than other groups of fishes. The pattern was similar when considering only commercially exploited species. Biological characteristics leading to greater vulnerability included a longer life span, later sexual maturation, slower growth and lower natural mortality. The results supported the contention that seamount fishes, especially those that aggregate on seamounts, are highly vulnerable to exploitation and that fishing on seamounts may not be sustainable at current levels and with current methods. A number of seamount populations have already been depleted; more depletion, extirpations, and even species extinctions may follow if fishing on seamounts is not reduced.

Keywords: extinction risk; fisheries; life history; seamounts; vulnerability

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2006.00894.x

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Oceanografia e Pescas, Universidade dos Açores, PT 9901-862, Horta, Portugal and 2: Fisheries Centre, Lower Mall Research Station, 2259 Lower Mall, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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