SALPA Project – Fisheries induced evolution on fish physiology
The African Coelacanth Ecosystem Project (ACEP) has recently released its project overview report for the 2018 and 2019 period, with SAFER Lab's SALPA Project featured on pages 78-81. The South African Linefish Physiology Assessment (SALPA) Project is conducting a multidisciplinary investigation to better understand the effects of selectivity by passive fisheries on the physiological traits of fishes, how this impacts their resilience to extreme environmental events and how this knowledge can used to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This will be done by comparing the thermal physiology of lightly and heavily exploited species inside and outside a longstanding Marine Protected Area. In addition, the offspring of fishes from these areas will be subjected to environmental stressors and their physiological (metabolic scope) and morphological responses (growth, skeletal development) will be compared. The outcomes of the project, which will provide us with an understanding of how exploitation influences the physiology of fishes and their resilience to the impacts of climate change, will not only be of global scientific interest, but will also be very relevant to the development of policy, legislation and ultimately our adaptation strategies to minimise the impact of climate change on society.