The aim of the book is to provide a handbook for the easy identification of the fishes that occur in the Gulf of Maine, with summaries of what is known about the distribution and relative abundance together with information on the life history of each species. The authors used the 150-fathom boundary as the arbitrary offshore boundary as this will exclude almost all deep-sea fishes, which are numerous in the basin of the open Atlantic.
Combining information gleaned from the literature as well as surveys from a large number of cruises, the volume covers the Cyclostomes, cartilaginous fishes, torpedoes, skates and rays and the bony fishes. The descriptions are as non-technical as is compatible with scientific accuracy and are limited to external features that will aid in identification in the field.
Originally published in 1953 as Fishery Bulletin #74.