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As far as I know, Fishing has been one of the important occupation since early ages, and infinite number of fishes have already been captured.

As the time passes, they must've developed some sort of knowledge about the fish-nets, and should've figured out a way to escape from them. But, still now, we are able to capture them at the same rate(I guess)

So, Are they developing any sort of hereditary memory to escape from us?

P.S. I'm not sure whether this is the right SE to ask.

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    $\begingroup$ Pretty much the same reason we don't think the fish are developing psychic powers. There's no evidence for it, the mechanisms by which evolution is known to operate wouldn't produce such a thing, and it wouldn't explain any observed phenomena better than the existing explanations. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2015 at 7:11
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    $\begingroup$ Evolution just doesn't work like that. Here, have a link to an explanation of how it does work. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2015 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ How's this hypothesis @user2357112 - the effect of man's overfishing is to catch shoals and individual fish that are easier to catch. Therefore the more reclusive/cautious fish survive, which means those characteristics are passed one. I'd say that would be a reasonable approximation of inherited memory. $\endgroup$
    – geotheory
    Dec 19, 2015 at 9:42
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think its necessarily very different from cats fearing cucumbers - possibly an inherited fear of snakes. $\endgroup$
    – geotheory
    Dec 19, 2015 at 13:11
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    $\begingroup$ That's just fudging. $\endgroup$
    – geotheory
    Dec 20, 2015 at 21:06

1 Answer 1

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Fish are definitely evolving to avoid fishing pressure. For example, largemouth bass evolve toward avoiding hooks. More broadly, since fishing selectively removes larger fish from the population, there's selection toward fish evolving smaller size. A brief review, linking to many studies demonstrating this, is Evolutionary impacts of fishing: overfishing's ‘Darwinian debt’.

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    $\begingroup$ I would disagree with the phrasing "to avoid" and replace it with "in response to". The old adage about evolution not assuming a purpose applies here. $\endgroup$
    – kmm
    Dec 18, 2015 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ "in response to" implies a purpose as much as "to avoid" from my point of view. I'd rather use "as a consequence of". $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2015 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ I understand the urge to avoid teleological words, but I think it's pointless and futile to worry about it once we're actually discussing real evolution. I realize that it's hammered into students at the very early introductory stage, but once the concept that there's no goal to evolution is solid -- which should be about a week after natural selection is first mentioned -- it simply becomes an exercise in semantics. If you read actual papers by actual evolutionary biologists, they pretty much all use shorthand language like this. We're all grownups here. $\endgroup$
    – iayork
    Dec 19, 2015 at 17:12
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    $\begingroup$ @iayork: I don't think it's safe to assume the questioner is past that very early introductory stage. Even if they are, this answer will probably be read by people who aren't past that stage. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2015 at 3:26

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