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  1. #1
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    david44's Avatar
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    The more they swallow the fishier it gets

    FOR anglers nothing beats catching a big fish. Commercial fisherfolk also prefer to haul in big specimens. Unfortunately, in recent years, research has shown that selectively capturing the largest fish has worrying ecological consequences. In some species the large ones are the healthiest ones, and so the ones most likely to breed successfully. In others they are the oldest, and so the most experienced at eluding predators or securing resources, such as food and breeding sites. In tropical wetlands, such as the Pantanal and Amazon regions of Brazil, the largest fish are also vital in dispersing seeds—and thus maintaining and regenerating habitat.
    Trees in these areas fruit most prolifically during the summer, when local rivers burst their banks and flood the land, making those fruit available to fish, which gladly gobble them up. Then, as the fish swim around the floodplain, they pass the seeds inside those fruit, which often remain intact, as part of their faeces. These seeds are thus distributed far and wide. Researchers have found that the most effective distributors are the biggest ones. Because they have bigger bellies they eat more, and because they have wider mouths they are more likely to swallow seeds whole rather than chew them up, as smaller fish might
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    Yeah, for many years I've been on the "Throw the big ones back" camp in NZ.
    NZ's favourite eating and catching fish is the snapper and it is over-fished. Thus the authorities place a size limit and catch limit. For Auckland, anything under 30 cm has to be thrown back, and only 9 fish per angler per day. Very steep penalties are applied rigourously to anyone who breaks the rules, with fisheries inspectors pulling up to your boat or waiting (in hiding) at the boat ramps.
    Over the years the catch limit has got smaller and the minimum size bigger.
    For a long time now I have been part of a small group advocating reducing the size limit, increasing the catch limit, but introducing a maximum size limit.
    The arguments are; 1. Huge snapper are actually not good eating as the meat is tougher, stringier, and tends to dry out. 2. The biggies have proven themselves in natural selection so are good breeding stock. 3. The number of undersized fish thrown back dead or mortaly injured is big, and is a terrible waste simply to comply with the law.

    Sadly, "the bigger the better" trophy hunters hold sway.

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