Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 45–54 | Cite as

Study on fish life history traits and variation in the Taiwan Strait and its adjacent waters

  • Wenjia Hu
  • Guanqiong Ye
  • Zhenbin Lu
  • Jianguo Du
  • Mingru Chen
  • Loke Ming Chou
  • Shengyun Yang


Large portions of the world’s fishery resources are overexploited. Life history traits of fish species are important indicators to reveal different life history strategies and to indicate population responses to fishing pressures. For this study, empirical data on fishing grounds located in the coastal area between Fujian Coast and Taiwan Island were collected. These areas have experienced severe overfishing in the past 30 years, leading to changes in the structure and function of the fish communities. Fifty-one commercial fish species in this fishing ground were selected to study the life history traits. Using the life history traits, all the species were grouped into five different life history strategies by principle component analysis. More than 60% of the species were categorized in Group 5 that was similar to r-strategists. Twenty-five commercial species were selected for further analysis of changes in life history variables, and to discuss the population responses to exploitation. Results showed that most of the species appeared to become smaller size, shorter life, earlier maturation and faster growing under long-term exploitation. The exploitation rate of each species was also calculated to further discuss the impacts of fishing pressures to fish populations. Four species were found with the severest changes on life history traits indicating some of the species might be more susceptible to exploitation. This study on fish life history traits and their long-term variations under fishing pressures could provide important scientific implications for fishery management and conservation.

Key words

life history traits fish life history strategy fishery exploitation the Taiwan Strait 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams P B. 1980. Life history patterns in marine fishes and their consequences for fisheries management. Fishery Bulletin, 78(1): 1–12Google Scholar
  2. Brochier T, Echevin V, Tam J, et al. 2013. Climate change scenarios experiments predict a future reduction in small pelagic fish recruitment in the Humboldt Current system. Global Change Biology, 19(6): 1841–1853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen Mingru, Lu Zhenbin, Du Jianguo, et al. 2010. Changes in ecological parameters of small yellow croaker, Pseudosciaena polyactis, in Eastern Fujian fishing ground. Journal of Xiamen University (Natural Science) (in Chinese), 49(2): 260–265Google Scholar
  4. Chen Zuozhi, Qiu Yongsong, Xu Shannan, et al. 2012. Evolution of biological characteristics of Saurida undosquamis (Richardson) in the Beibu Gulf, South China Sea. Journal of Fishery Sciences of China (in Chinese), 19(2): 321–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Claudet J, Osenberg C W, Domenici P, et al. 2010. Marine reserves: fish life history and ecological traits matter. Ecological Applications, 20(3): 830–839CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Denney N H, Jennings S, Reynolds J D. 2002. Life-history correlates of maximum population growth rates in marine fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B269(1506): 2229–2237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Du Jianguo, Lu Zhenbin, Chen Mingru. 2008. Changes in ecological parameters of Parargyrops edita population in southern Taiwan Strait. Journal of Oceanography in Taiwan Strait (in Chinese), 27(2): 193–198Google Scholar
  8. Du Jianguo, Lu Zhenbin, Chen Mingru, et al. 2010. Changes in ecological parameters and resources of Japanese butterfish, Psenopsis anomala, in the middle and northern Taiwan Strait. Journal of Oceanography in Taiwan Strait (in Chinese), 29(2): 234–239Google Scholar
  9. Du Jianguo, Lu Zhenbin, Yang Shengyun, et al. 2011. Studies on ecological characteristics variation and population dynamics of four lizardfishes in the southern Taiwan Straits. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 30(6): 72–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. FAO. 2012. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2012. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization, 197Google Scholar
  11. Fujian Provincial Bureau of Statistics. 2012. 2012 National Economic and Social Development Statistics for Fujian Province. Fujian: Fujian Provincial Bureau of StatisticsGoogle Scholar
  12. Gulland J A. 1971. The Fish Resources of the Ocean West Poly Fleet, Survey Fishing News (Books) Ltd. FAO Tech Paper, (97): 15–16Google Scholar
  13. Gulland J A. 1979. Report of the FAO/IOP workshop on the fishery resources of the western Indian Ocean South of the Equator. Rome: FAO, 1–37Google Scholar
  14. Hutchings J A, Myers R A, García V B, et al. 2012. Life-history correlates of extinction risk and recovery potential. Ecological Applications, 22(4): 1061–1067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jennings S, Greenstreet S P R, Reynolds J D. 1999. Structural change in an exploited fish community: a consequence of differential fishing effects on species with contrasting life histories. Journal of Animal Ecology, 68(3): 617–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jennings S, Reynolds J D, Mills S C. 1998. Life history correlates of responses to fisheries exploitation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 265(1393): 333–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kawasaki T. 1983. Why do some pelagic fishes have wide fluctuation in their numbers? Biological basis of fluctuations from the viewpoint of evolutionary ecology. In: Sharp G D, Csirke J, eds. Proceedings of the Expert Consultation to examine changes in abundance and species composition of neritic fish resources. FAO Fisheries Report, 291(3): 557–1224Google Scholar
  18. King J R, McFarlane G A. 2003. Marine fish life history strategies: applications to fishery management. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 10(4): 249–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leaman B M, Beamish R J. 1984. Ecological and management implications of longevity in some northeast Pacific groundfishes. International North Pacific Fisheries Commission Bulletin, 42: 85–97Google Scholar
  20. Li Xueding, Lu Zhenbin. 2008. The productivity of fishery resources and the maximum sustained yield in Fujian coastal water. Journal of Xiamen University (Natural Science) (in Chinese), 47(4): 596–601Google Scholar
  21. Lu Zhenbin, Chen Xiao, Du Jianguo. 2008. The population dynamics and parameter of growth and mortality of Sillago sihama in the Minnan-Taiwan fishing grounds. Marine Fisheries Research (in Chinese), 29(5): 47–53Google Scholar
  22. Lu Zhenbin, Dai Quanshui, Xiao Fangsen. 2005. Capacity of fish resources in Southern Fujian-Taiwan shoal sea area. Journal of Tropical Oceanography (in Chinese), 24(1): 60–66Google Scholar
  23. Lu Zhenbin, Dai Quanshui, Xiao Fangsen, et al. 2006. The resources production of fish and its different ecological type in Minnan-Taiwan Bank fishing grounds. Journal of Fisheries of China (in Chinese), 30(3): 360–366Google Scholar
  24. Lu Zhenbin, Dai Quanshui, Yan Youming. 1999a. The studies on the ecology of twenty species fishes in Fujian coastal waters. Journal of Fujian Fisheries (in Chinese), 9(2): 20–27Google Scholar
  25. Lu Zhenbin, Dai Quanshui, Yan Youming. 1999b. Change in structure of the fisheries resources and ecology of the major population in Fujian offshore waters. Journal of Fujian Fisheries (in Chinese), 9(3): 1–7Google Scholar
  26. Lu Zhenbin, Du Jianguo. 2008. Variational characteristics of ecological parameters of Upeneus bensasi in southern Taiwan Strait. Journal of Fisheries of China (in Chinese), 32(3): 362–368Google Scholar
  27. Luo Binzheng. 1992. Life history patterns and geographical variation of ecological parameters for marine fishes in the coastal waters of China. Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica (in Chinese), 23(1): 63–73Google Scholar
  28. Luo Binzheng, Lu Jiwu, Lan Yonglun, et al. 1993. Population dynamics and life history patterns for main marine fishes in the coastal waters of China. Studia Marina Sinica (in Chinese), 34: 123–137Google Scholar
  29. MacArthur R H, Wilson E O. 1967. The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
  30. McCann K, Shuter B. 1997. Bioenergetics of life history strategies and the comparative allometry of reproduction. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (54): 1289–1298Google Scholar
  31. McFarlane G A, Beamish R J. 2001. The reoccurrence of sardines off British Columbia characterises the dynamic nature of regimes. Progress in Oceanography, 49(1–4): 151–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Palumbi S R. 2004. Marine reserves and ocean neighborhoods: the spatial scale of marine populations and their management. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 29: 31–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pauly D. 1984. Fish Population Dynamics in Tropical Waters: a Manual for Use with Programmable Calculators. ICLARM Studies and Reviews 8. Manila, Philippnies: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, 325Google Scholar
  34. Pauly D, Christensen V, Guénette S, et al. 2002. Towards sustainability in world fisheries. Nature, 418(6898): 689–695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pianka E R. 1979. Citation classic: on r- and K selection. Current Contents, 10: 10Google Scholar
  36. Pikitch E K, Santora E A, Babcock A, et al. 2004. Ecosystem-based fishery management. Science, 305(5682): 346–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Reynolds J D, Webb T J, Hawkins L A. 2005. Life history and ecological correlates of extinction risk in European freshwater fishes. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 62(4): 854–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Robson D S, Chapman D G. 1961. Catch curves and mortality rates. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 90(2): 181–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rochet M J. 1998. Short-term effects of fishing on life history traits of fishes. ICES Journal of Marine Science, (55): 371–391Google Scholar
  40. Roff D A. 1984. The evolution of life history parameters in teleosts. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (41): 898–1000CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sharpe D M, Hendry A P. 2009. SYNTHESIS: life history change in commercially exploited fish stocks: an analysis of trends across studies. Evolutionary Applications, 2(3): 260–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Smith S E, Au D W, Show C. 1998. Intrinsic rebound potentials of 26 species of Pacific sharks. Marine and Freshwater Research, 49(7): 663–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stevens J D, Bonfil R, Dulvy N K, et al. 2000. The effects of fishing on sharks, rays, and chimaeras (chondrichthyans), and the implications for marine ecosystems. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 57(3): 476–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Unwin M J, Kinnison M T, Quinn T P. 1999. Exceptions to semelparity: postmaturation survival, morphology, and energetics of male chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (56): 1172–1181Google Scholar
  45. Ward P, Myers RA. 2005. Shifts in open-ocean fish communities coinciding with the commencement of commercial fishing. Ecology, 86(4): 835–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Winemiller K O, Rose K A. 1992. Reproductive constraints and the evolution of life histories with indeterminate growth. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (49): 2196–2218Google Scholar
  47. Yan Youming. 2006. Study on the relationship between the sea surface temperature (SST) in NINO region and the yield of pelagic fish in Minnan-Taiwan Bank fishing ground. Journal of Fujian Fisheries (in Chinese), (4): 11–15Google Scholar
  48. Zhou S J, Smith A D, Punt A E, et al. 2010. Ecosystem-based fisheries management requires a change to the selective fishing philosophy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(21): 9485–9489CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenjia Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guanqiong Ye
    • 3
    • 5
  • Zhenbin Lu
    • 4
  • Jianguo Du
    • 2
  • Mingru Chen
    • 1
  • Loke Ming Chou
    • 3
  • Shengyun Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OceanographyXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.The Third Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationXiamenChina
  3. 3.Tropical Marine Science InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Fisheries Research Institute of FujianXiamenChina
  5. 5.Ocean CollegeZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations