Study: Humans should stop hunting and fishing the biggest wildlife

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Humans are putting the future of certain species at risk by killing animals that are the "wrong size and age," a new study has found.

A report by the Science journal said that the way humans are hunting and fishing is unsustainable and is counter to the principles of nature, as rather than killing smaller and weaker animals (as is typical of predators in the wild), we're instead focusing on killing the biggest, most mature specimens.

The issue with this is that many of the mature animals being killed are at their reproductive peak, and killing them could lead to significant ecological impacts and change the course of evolution.

The study found that humans are acting as a "super predator" who are killing up to 14 times more adult prey than other predators.

The rates are particularly high when it comes to carnivores killed by trophy hunters, as well as fish – a practice that is taking nature from "survival of the fittest to survival of the smallest," lead author Chris Darimont told the Associated Press.

He said that taking bigger fish or animals "has remarkable short-term benefits" in terms of food production, but poses serious long-term implications.

He cited an example of the collapse of the Atlantic cod, saying that over-fishing caused female cod to start reproducing at an earlier age as they weren't living long enough to reach their reproductive peak – when they can grow more than double the amount of eggs, AP reports.

The study said possible remedies could include "cultivating tolerance for carnivores," designing "catch-share" programs, and supporting "community leadership in fisheries."

It also suggests hunters and fishermen mimic nonhuman predators by focusing more on juveniles rather than the killing of full-sized adults, although it acknowledges that "cultural, economic and technological factors would make targeting juvenile prey challenging in many cases."

Darimont told AP that men have evolved to "like bigger trophies in hunting and fishing to impress others."

Next Up

State Patrol

State Patrol reports 2 fatal crashes on Friday in Minnesota

The first incident happened in Austin Township, and the second happened in Birch Lake Township.

motorcycle

Deaths on Minnesota roads in 2021 at highest level in more than a decade

There have been a total of eight motorcyclist fatalities on Minnesota roads this year.

Screen Shot 2021-05-08 at 9.15.09 AM

Chinese rocket debris to crash somewhere on Earth this weekend

Minnesota appears to be just outside of it's massive potential crash zone.

Starlink satellites

Strange lights in Minnesota sky Friday night were SpaceX satellites

SpaceX is planning to launch 60 more Starlink satellites on Sunday, May 9.

Jorge Polanco

Shoemaker, Twins lineup rebounds against Tigers

Jorge Polanco homered in a 7-3 victory over Detroit.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Kaprizov's OT winner lifts Wild into 2nd place in West

Kaprizov's goal gave the Wild a 3-2 victory over the Ducks.

Byron Buxton

Buxton placed on IL, Trevor Larnach called up

Buxton could be out "for weeks" with a hip strain.

A bald eagle perched on branches.

USFWS confirms 2 bald eagles were shot dead

The agency is offering a reward for information in the case.

A newborn baby, wrapped in a blanket with its mother.

Most popular baby names includes one not in top 10 for 100 years

But Olivia and Liam once again led the way for girls and boys.

Related