Our new paper shows that the implications of a recent Science paper by Barneche et al. (Science 360(6389): 642) are much less dramatic than they are made to be.
Barneche et al. have shown that fish reproductive output scales hypergeometrically with female weight. This data analysis is timely, relevant, and solid. Their results challenge the common fisheries management assumption that reproductive output is proportional to weight. However, we show that the implications of the result are much less dramatic than they are made to be. First, the graphic presentation created a distorted picture between the hypergeometric and the classic isometric description (see figure below). Second, their example for cod shows that current practice makes an error of 149%. By properly accounting for fish demography we show that the error is maximally on the order of 10%, and in most other fish stocks likely much less.
Ken H. Andersen, Nis Sand Jacobsen, P. Daniël van Denderen (2019) Limited impact of big fish mothers for population replenishment. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (link to the paper)