Fisheries science

The 78-metre Danish fisheries research vessel Dana

Fisheries science is the academic discipline of managing and understanding fisheries. It is a multidisciplinary science, which draws on the disciplines of limnology, oceanography, freshwater biology, marine biology, conservation, ecology, population dynamics, economics and management to attempt to provide an integrated picture of fisheries. In some cases new disciplines have emerged, as in the case of bioeconomics and fisheries law.

Fisheries science is typically taught in a university setting, and can be the focus of an undergraduate, master's or Ph.D. program. Some universities offer fully integrated programs in fisheries science.

Fisheries research

Fisheries research vessels (FRVs) require platforms which are capable of towing different types of fishing nets, collecting plankton or water samples from a range of depths, and carrying acoustic fish-finding equipment. Fisheries research vessels are often designed and built along the same lines as a large fishing vessel, but with space given over to laboratories and equipment storage, as opposed to storage of the catch.

Notable contributors

Members of this list meet one or more of the following criteria: 1) Author of widely cited peer-reviewed articles on fisheries, 2) Author of major reference work in fisheries, 3) Founder of major fisheries journal, museum or other related organisation 4) Person most notable for other reasons who has also worked in fisheries science.

Contributor Nationality Born Died Contribution
Baird, Spencer F American 1823 1887 Founding scientist of the United States Fish Commission
Baranov, Fedor I Russian 1886 1965 Baranov has been called the grandfather of fisheries population dynamics. The Baranov catch equation of 1918 is perhaps the most used equation in fisheries modelling.[1]
Beverton, Ray English 1922 1985 Fisheries biologist known for the Beverton–Holt model (with Sidney Holt), credited with being one of the founders of fisheries science
Christensen, Villy Danish - Fisheries scientist and ecosystem modeller, known for his work on the development of Ecopath
Cobb, John N American 1868 1930 Founder of the first college of fisheries in the United States, the University of Washington College of Fisheries, in 1919
Cooke, Steven J Canadian 1974 Academic known for contributions to recreational fisheries science, inland fisheries and Conservation Physiology
Cushing, David English 1920 2008 Fisheries biologist, who is credited with the development of the match/mismatch hypothesis
Everhart, W Harry American 1918 1994 Fisheries scientist, educator, administrator and author of several widely used fisheries texts
Froese, Rainer German 1950 - Known for his work on the development and coordination of FishBase
Green, Seth American 1817 1888 Pioneer in fish farming who established the first fish hatchery in the United States
Halver, John American 1922 2012 His pioneering work on the nutritional needs of fish led to modern methods of fish farming and fish feed production. He has been called the father of fish nutrition.[2][3]
Hempel, Gotthilf German 1929 - Marine biologist and oceanographer, and co-founder of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Herwig, Walther German 1838 1912 Lawyer and promoter of high seas fishing and research
Hilborn, Ray Canadian 1947 - Fisheries biologist with strong contributions in fisheries management
Hjort, Johan Norwegian 1869 1948 Fisheries biologist, marine zoologist and oceanographer
Hofer, Bruno German 1861 1916 Fishery scientist credited with being the founder of fish pathology
Holt, Sidney English 1926 - Fisheries biologist known for the Beverton–Holt model (with Ray Beverton), credited with being one of the founders of fisheries science
Kils, Uwe German - Marine biologist specializing in planktology. Inventor of the ecoSCOPE
Lackey, Robert T Canadian 1944 - Fisheries scientist and political scientist known for his work involving the role of science in policy making
Margolis, Leo Canadian 1927 1997 Parasitologist and head of the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, British Columbia
McKay, R J Australian Biologist and a specialist in translocated freshwater fishes
Myers, Ransom A Canadian 1952 2007 Marine biologist and conservationist
Pauly, Daniel French 1946 Prominent fisheries scientist, known for his work studying human impacts on global fisheries
Pitcher, Tony J - Known for work on the impacts of fishing, management appraisals and the shoaling behavior of fish
Rice, Michael A American 1955 - Known for work on molluscan fisheries
Ricker, Bill Canadian 1908 2001 Fisheries biologist, known for the Ricker model, credited with being one of the founders of fisheries science
Ricketts, Ed American 1897 1948 A colourful marine biologist and philosopher who introduced ecology to fisheries science.[4]
Roberts, Callum - Marine conservation biologist, known for his work on the role marine reserves play in protecting marine ecosystems
Rosenthal, Harald German 1937 - Hydrobiologist known for his work in fish farming and ecology
Safina, Carl American 1955 - Author of several writings on marine ecology and the ocean
Sars, Georg Ossian Norwegian 1837 1927 Marine biologist credited with the discovery of a number of new species and known for his analysis of cod fisheries
Schaefer, Milner Baily American 1912 1970 Notable for work on the population dynamics of fisheries
Schweder, Tore Norwegian 1943 - Statistician whose work includes the assessment of marine resources
Sumaila, Ussif Rashid Nigerian - Notable for his analysis of the economic aspects of fisheries
Utter, Fred M American 1931 - Characterised by NOAA as the founding father of fishery genetics, he has been influential in marine conservation [5]
von Bertalanffy, Ludwig Austrian 1901 1972 Biologist and founder of general systems theory
Walters, Carl American - Biologist known for his work involving fisheries stock assessments, the adaptive management concept, and ecosystem modeling


Fisheries scientists sorting a catch of small fish and Norway lobster

Some journals about fisheries are

Professional societies

See also


  1. Quinn, Terrance J. II (2003). "Ruminations on the development and future of population dynamics models in fisheries". Natural Resource Modeling. 16 (4): 341–392. doi:10.1111/j.1939-7445.2003.tb00119.x.
  2. American Fisheries Society, National Fish Culture Hall of Fame, Spearfish, S.D. 2000
  4. Ed Ricketts’ death, 50 years ago last week, preceded that of Cannery Row by only a few months. – Eric Enno Tamm (2005) Monterey County Weekly.
  5. History Makers: Honorable Mentions NOAA. Updated: 19 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2014.


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