Recapturing escaped fish from marine aquaculture is largely unsuccessful: alternatives to reduce the number of escapees in the wild

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Title: Recapturing escaped fish from marine aquaculture is largely unsuccessful: alternatives to reduce the number of escapees in the wild
Authors: Dempster, Tim | Arechavala-Lopez, Pablo | Barrett, Luke T. | Fleming, Ian A. | Sanchez-Jerez, Pablo | Uglem, Ingebrigt
Research Group/s: Biología Marina
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias del Mar y Biología Aplicada
Keywords: Aquaculture | Fish farm | Gadus morhua | Salmo salar | Salmon
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: Mar-2018
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Reviews in Aquaculture. 2018, 10(1): 153-167. doi:10.1111/raq.12153
Abstract: Farmed fish that escape and mix with wild fish populations can have significant ecological and genetic consequences. To reduce the number of escaped fish in the wild, recapture is often attempted. Here, we review the behaviours of escapees post‐escape, and how recapture success varies with escaped fish size, the size of the initial escape event and recapture methods. Success rates of fishing gears varied among species, with gill‐nets and coastal barrier nets most effective for recapture of salmonids. Recapture success was strongly negatively correlated with both fish size and the number of fish escaped, regardless of species. Recapture success was universally low across all studied species (8%). Numerous tracking studies of escaped fish indicate that recapture efforts should be initiated within 24 h of an escape incident for highest recapture success. However, most large escape events are due to storms, which mean recapture efforts rarely start within this timeframe. Recapture of escaped fish is broadly ineffective in marine habitats, with rare exception. High bycatch rates during ineffective recapture attempts imply that large‐scale recapture efforts should be weighed against the possibility of affecting wild fish populations negatively. We suggest three alternative approaches to reduce escapee numbers in wild habitats: (i) protect populations of predatory fish around sea‐cage farms from fishing, as they prey upon smaller escapees; (ii) construct impact offset programmes to target recapture in habitats where escapees can be efficiently caught; and (iii) ensure technical standards are legislated so that fish farmers invest in preventative technologies to minimize escapes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/74595
ISSN: 1753-5123 (Print) | 1753-5131 (Online)
DOI: 10.1111/raq.12153
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2016 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/raq.12153
Appears in Collections:INV - BM - Artículos Científicos / Scientific Papers

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