Since the industrialization of fishing, fisheries scientists have been subject to intense economic and political pressures, which have affected the way the science has developed. The origins and effects of these pressures are traced in this book to concerns about determining the causes of fluctuations in fish and whale catches, and to resistance to regulation of fishing activity when populations are depleted.
The development of partial theories of fish population dynamics are described using examples of both national and international fisheries. The causes of the difficulties encountered in generalizing these theories are examined, setting the stage for the limitation of scope of these studies that still influences the form and extent of fisheries research today. This is a fascinating resource for all those interested in fisheries science and the way it has developed in the last 150 years.
Originally published in 1994.
Frontispiece; Acknowledgements; Units used in the text; Part I. Introduction: 1. Fluctuations, the very essence of ecosystems; Part II. Developing Methods, 1855--1940: 2. Research approaches, 1855--1890; 3. Measuring the effect of fishing, 1890--1900; 4. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 1900--1920; 5. Predicting fluctuations, 1920--1930; 6. A priori methods, 1930--1940; Part III. Three Partial Theories, 1940--1955: 7. Middling in size; 8. How many parents are enough?; 9. Steady state yield; 10. Integration: self-regenerating populations and the bionomic ecosystem; Notes; References; Index of people; Subject index.
'Tim Smith's book makes interesting reading for scientists and historians !' J. H. S. Blaxter, Nature