WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Commercial and sport fishing destabilizes fish populations by targeting the biggest, oldest fish and leaving younger fish to proliferate too wildly, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
They said fisheries should in fact encourage the taking of smaller, younger fish instead of requiring that they be thrown back.
"That type of regulation, which we see in many sport fisheries, is exactly wrong," George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego said in a statement.
"It's not the young ones that should be thrown back, but the larger, older fish that should be spared. Not only do the older fish provide stability ... to the population, they provide more and better quality offspring."