Fishing Down Marine Food Webs: An Update

  • Daniel Pauly
  • Maria Lourdes D. Palomares


One of the major ecosystem impacts of fishing is the selective extirpation of large, long-lived fishes and their replacement in the ecosystem and in fisheries catches by small, short-lived fishes and invertebrates. As large fish tend to be top-predators, feeding on smaller fishes while smaller fish and invertebrates feed on plankton and/or detritus, this process, recently shown to be operating globally, has been called “fishing down marine food webs.”

Here, the demostration is made that two potential sources of bias identified by critiques of the approach used to demonstrate this process in fact contribute to partly mask it; thus explicit consideration of these sources of bias shows the process to be stronger than initially thought. Some applicant are briefly discussed.


Trophic Level Large Fish Fishing Effort Fishing Mortality Herbivorous Zooplankton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Pauly
    • 1
  • Maria Lourdes D. Palomares
    • 2
  1. 1.Fisheries CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM)MakatiPhilippines

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