What does it take for a depleted fish species to make a comeback? A group of researchers reviewed abundance trends for over 50 populations of marine fish in attempts to determine what, if any, characteristics are common among species that have successfully recovered after overfishing. Their results suggest that recovery is related to a combination of characteristics that determine the “pace” of a species’ life history. Fish that live a “fast” life— small fish with a brief lifespan that mature at a young age—have the greatest resilience and recovery potential. Non-recovered species in Canadian waters include the Winter skate, Bocaccio, Porbeagle, and certain populations of Atlantic cod.


Jeffrey A. Hutchings, Anna Kuparinen

Corresponding author:

Jeffrey Hutchings, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Email: jeff.hutchings@dal.ca OR jhutch@dal.ca

Original paper published in Proceedings of Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on June 14, 2017.