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Earth Science


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching: Developments, Pitfalls and Opportunities 2nd edition edited by K. M. Leber, S. Kitada, H. L Blankenship, T. Svasand (Blackwell Publishers) The collapse of many of the World"s fisheries continues to be of major concern and the enhancement of fish stocks through techniques such as ranching is of huge importance and interest across the globe. This important book, which contains fully peer reviewed and carefully edited papers from the 2nd International Symposium in Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching is broadly divided into sections covering the following areas: The present situation of stock enhancement; Seed quality and techniques for effective stocking; Health management of hatchery stocks; Methods for evaluating stocking effectiveness; Population control.

Stock enhancement (stocking cultured organisms to replenish or increase abundance of wild stocks) and sea ranching (stocking for put-grow-and-take food fisheries) are being recast in the new millennium as more useful fishery-management tools than ever before. As this book shows, the science needed to develop a reliable stocking technology is growing rapidly, shepherded by a healthy climate of scientific debate.

The new developments for this century-old fishery-management tool could not be timelier. With the collapse of many of the world's fisheries, the replenishment of fish stocks through techniques such as stocking is of huge importance and interest across the globe. Fishery management agencies worldwide are struggling with the paradox of trying to conserve fish stocks and protect them from overfishing, while also meeting an increas­ing demand for seafood. The steadily increasing demand, owing to population growth and human health recommendations to increase seafood in the diet, is placing enormous harvest pressure on wild fish and invertebrate stocks. Exacerbating this situation is corresponding growth in saltwater sport fishing, degradation of essential fish habitat from coastal development, and ecological change caused by fishing down the food web. The alarming consequence of such high demand for seafood is that two-thirds of the world's coastal fisheries are now fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted and need to be rebuilt. Many stocks have become so depleted that they can no longer support fishing.

As world population growth continues, demand for seafood is going to place even greater pressure on wild fish populations. Clearly we cannot rely, in the future, only on wild-caught seafood to satisfy demand. Seafood farming must fill the gap in supply. Already, aquaculture is providing over 25% of the world's seafood production. Because of a surge in scientific developments over the past decade that is solving many production bottlenecks, the marine aquaculture industry is in a phase of rapid growth.

As new culture technologies are developed and advances are made in stocking tech­nologies, there is great potential to use stocking to help replenish recruitment-limited and depleted stocks. However, as this book indicates, it is not a simple matter to ensure that stocking is effective and actually achieves the objectives of a hatchery-release program. Although stocking marine organisms has been practiced for well over a century, only within the past two decades have scientists begun to develop the knowledge needed to guide effective use of hatchery releases. There remain many critical uncertainties about how to use stocking technology effectively. Consequently, there are few good examples of clearly successful application of hatchery releases to enhance marine fisheries.

Faced with depleted stocks and the expanding gap in seafood supply, fishery scientists worldwide are striving to resolve uncertainties about stocking. The result is a rapidly increasing quantitative knowledge base about the effects and effectiveness

of stocking cultured aquatic organisms to increase fishery production. There have been many new research developments in this field since the First Symposium on Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching was held in Bergen, Norway, in 1997. This book highlights many of these new achievements as well as opportunities for successful use of stocking. A general theme is evident — to guide the effective use of stocking, much research and development is still needed and interactions among stocked organisms and wild populations must be better understood. Much caution is needed in stock enhancement and sea ranching programs, as there remain many uncertainties about how to use stocking successfully; there are clear risks to wild stocks from inadequate decisions about hatchery-release protocols and when, where and how stocking should be used.

As we move from hunting and gathering wild fish stocks toward increased use of farming to help meet seafood demand, the new production capabilities for species never grown before is prompting development of new stocking programs worldwide. The need for more effective stocking strategies is clear. The world must have sufficient knowledge to use stocking productively in helping to manage fisheries. If the current trend of increasing research and development of stock enhancement and sea ranching technologies continues, we believe the number of successful examples will greatly increase during the next decade.

To help guide future research in the emerging science of stock enhancement and sea ranching, the principal issues considered in this volume are briefly summarized below.

There is an evolution in fishery management that reflects a shift in priorities toward long-term sustainability and a movement away from policies of open access to fishery resources. Science must play a key role here as we make this shift and deal with a variety of complex and interacting issues. Responsible stock enhancement requires new information on rearing techniques, release strategies, disease defense, monitor­ing, and evaluation of hatchery-release effects (genetic and ecological) on wild stocks. Harvest rights may be needed to make stocking economically successful. Consider­ation of ocean productivity is a key aspect of long-term enhancement strategy.

Research documenting improvements in seed quality shows untapped potential to increase survival and is a promising area for future improvement in the efficiency of enhancement. Conditioning fish and invertebrates prior to release will play a major role here. Much of the progress made in conditioning will result from acclimation research on behavioral, physiological, developmental, ecological, environmental, and feeding deficits in newly stocked organisms. Both short- and long-term atten­tion is needed in field assessments of the effects of conditioning.

The key issues in health management of hatchery stocks are disease-control measures in seed production, evaluation of fish health prior to release, and the presence and level of pathogens in wild stocks. Disease-control measures need further development. Health control must be a high priority in stock enhancement and sea ranching programs.

Powerful molecular tools are now available to aid in genetic management of stocked populations — for monitoring genetic structure of hatchery and wild

stocks and monitoring inbreeding; for observing released fish (genetic tags, such as genetic fingerprinting); for estimating survival and catch contribution. The theoretical effects of stock enhancement and sea ranching on the fitness of wild stocks (e.g. domestication, outbreeding depression, inbreeding, adaptability) are potentially damaging, but difficult to measure. Best-practice guidelines are needed in all stocking programs.

Scientists in this field need to advance the theoretical context for selecting release sites, release microhabitat and the magnitude of stocking; density-dependence and carrying capacity are key considerations. Production and environmental variables at release sites are not sufficient information for planning hatchery-releases.

Improved methods for evaluating stocking effectiveness are needed. Experimen­tal releases of cultured species, with a link to studying ecological processes, are key to understanding many of the uncertainties about stocking success. A benign tag with high information content is essential to evaluate survival and efficiency of stocking strategies and key ecological issues, such as how to recognize and incorporate carrying capacity considerations, habitat use, species interactions and environmental influences in stocking decisions. Good designs are needed for field studies to test hypotheses about density-dependent effects and genetic effects of hatchery stocks, leading to better protocols for conserving wild stocks. Risk benefit considerations must be addressed in a realistic and objective manner in light of the specific objectives of a stocking program. Adaptive management is a key to success.

The competing hypothesis to the premise that large hatchery programs cause a major increase in total production is the alternative that large hatchery programs cause a major decline in wild-stock abundance through competitive displacement. If density-dependence was not present, then populations would grow to infinity. Thus, adding fish after the density-dependence stage should be a key consider­ation in stocking programs. Replicates and experimental controls for treatment effects are needed to evaluate stocking effects. Interactions of hatchery and wild stocks should be expected and the effectiveness of increasing production with hatchery releases needs to be tested on a large scale.

To manage stocked populations effectively, there must be a `big-picture' consider­ation of the status of wild stocks as well as ecology, both on nursery grounds and on fishing grounds. Success can be greatly improved when managers of stocking programs consider institutional arrangements involving all stakeholders, the social and legal framework, alternative management options, and when those who will pay for enhancement are identified (fishers, processors, government). An institutional framework is needed to integrate stocking plans with harvest regulations, cost-recovery, fisheries management plans, user involvement, and to identify the role of government.

Developing countries present special challenges and opportunities. Reasons for stocking may differ; information is sketchy and generally poor. Appropriate technology should be transferred or developed, especially in regard to co-management.

More attention to the socio-economic of stock enhancement and sea ranching is needed. Stocking has been shown to be economically effective in a few very successful cases, but very few case studies have actually evaluated economics. Economic models assume no reduction in growth and survival in natural stocks, which may not be the case. It is difficult to try to evaluate an appropriate stocking level. In Japan, though, several unenhanced stocks have much lower production than enhanced stocks, showing promise for economically successful enhancement. One way to increase value is by moving the location of fisheries closer to user groups. Economic evaluation of stocking effects on non-target species is recommended. Culture of non-target species may be needed. Gardening of sessile organisms may be more effective than stocking them.

Focus should be placed on how to progress toward predictability. Cooperation on projects will make maximum progress, and significant programmatic funding is absolutely essential. Hypothesis tests are needed in different ecosystems; piecemeal studies will not suffice. For a reliable estimate of the economic potential of stocking programs, long-term, wide-spatial, and ecosystem viewpoints are necessary.

We regard these as the principal issues today in stock enhancement and sea ranching. They were identified at the end of the conference in Kobe, Japan, by the chairmen of the various topic sessions at the conference and are based on the key ideas brought forth in each session. The sessions at the conference form the 11 sections of this book.




Fishes of Alabama by by Herbert T. Boschung, Richard L. Mayden, illustrated by Joseph Tomelleri (Smithsonian Institution Press) 709 color, 804 b/w illustrations. There is little doubt that the authors and illustrator have produced a masterpiece of scientific description. It is the type of book we expect from the Smithsonian. The care and superb integration of text and illustration as well as the layout and design and high production value makes this volume a candidate for awards in book production as well its unsurpassed ithichthyological content. It is a major event in publishing.
An enormous, superbly illustrated book revealing the astounding diversity of Alabama's fishes through brilliant color plates by Joseph Tomelleri and incredibly detailed information from the authors. Boschung and Mayden are two leading scientists of biodiversity. Boschung , co-editor of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales, and Dolphins and Mayden, author of over 100 papers on fishes, and editor of the landmark publication Systematics, Historical Ecology, and North American Freshwater Fishes, have dedicated years to documenting the evolutionary histories, diversity, diets, growth rates, reproduction, sizes, distribution, and status of Alabama's fishes, and they present this wealth of information in a helpful, user-friendly format. The identification keys to the species are beautifully illustrated with extremely helpful drawings that provide fast, accurate identification, useful to experts and the general public alike. Whether an angler looking to determine the species of fish he just caught, a biology student interested in stream biodiversity, or a young naturalist exploring North America's hotspot for fish biodiversity, everyone with an interest in the diversity of our world will find Fishes of Alabama ideal.

The aquatic ecosystems of the southeastern US and especially those in Alabama have been identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and other published sources as having the most diverse flora and fauna in North America. In fact, Alabama has 297 native species of freshwater fishes alone, two of which are extinct. Fishes of Alabama combines detailed information with meticulous illustrations to create a rare and comprehensive glimpse into the underwater world of Alabama and the astounding diversity of its fishes.

Herbert T. Boschung Jr. and Richard L. Mayden, two leading scientists, have dedicated years to docu­menting the diets, growth rates, reproduction, sizes, distribution, and status of Alabama's fishes. They add their expertise and insight to earlier research in an accessible style that invites anglers, students, teachers, ichthyologists, and fish lovers in general to enjoy the many interesting observations about the lives of fishes that are contained herein.

Because it is near impossible to comprehend in words the many subtle differences that distinguish a species, Boschung's and Mayden's descriptions are teamed with natural history artist Joseph Tomelleri's brilliant color plates that reveal each species' true life colors and fine details of feature. In addition to the 385 color figures on 112 plates, the book is illustrated with more than 350 distribution and range maps and 62 habitat photographs. Easy-to-use keys are provided for the identification of each species of freshwater fish known to occur in Alabama, many of which occur else-where in the United States. Fishes of Alabama is an ideal reference for libraries and everyone interested in the diversity of our world.

Excerpt: This book was written for students and teachers, pro­fessional and amateur ichthyologists, fisheries biolo­gists, anglers, professional fishers, naturalists, aquarium enthusiasts, conservationists, resource planners, and all other persons curious enough to open these pages.

In preparation for writing this book, we perused thousands of published papers in search of materials relevant to the fishes of Alabama. Knowledge gained from those papers, numerous data stored in the Uni­versity of Alabama Ichthyological Collection, and unpublished information provided by ourselves and our colleagues are the foundation, pillars, and copestone of the book.

In planning the book, we elected to incorporate what we perceived to be outstanding features of other state fish books. We especially liked the illustrated keys in William L. Pflieger's (1975) Fishes of Missouri, and so attempted to copy that style. Deferring literature citations in the distribution and biology sections of the species accounts is a technique used by C. Lavett Smith (1985) in The Inland Fishes of New York State. We liked his style and used it. Several state books use large distribution maps with easy-to-see distribution dots (e.g., David A. Etnier and Wayne C. Starnes, 1993, The Fishes of Tennessee) and county lines (e.g., Milton B. Trautman, 1981, Fishes of Ohio). We like those maps and copied the style. The use of three different maps (Southeastern United States, United States, and North and Central America) delineates the range of each species more precisely than in most books.

A portrait of each species was drawn in color by Joseph R. Tomelleri, unquestionably the leading illustrator of North American fishes. The colors are as seen when the fish is fresh out of water, often in the season when colors are maximum. There is no "best" technique for portraying a fish for the purpose of identification. Be it line drawings, black and white photographs, color pho­tographs, color paintings, color drawings, each has some advantage over the other. However, color drawings have the advantage of line drawings in that the artist can depict all the subtle scale and fin characters, as well as colors.

Technical terms are unavoidable. To aid nonpro­fessionals and beginning students of ichthyology, we have included Chapter 4, Introduction to the Study of Fishes, and a Glossary of technical terms.

We have included accounts of the higher taxa and discussed their phylogenetic relationships. We feel that knowledge relative to the evolutionary relationships of fishes is important to understanding their biology and conservation. Also, the accounts of higher taxa give the reader an appreciation for where Alabama's fishes fit into the grand system of the world's fishes. We have in Alabama and the southeastern United States representatives of almost all the major freshwater orders of the world's fishes. The order Characiformes, which occurs in Africa, South and Central America, and the southwestern United States, is an exception. Including among our fishes are the four most primitive families of ray-finned fishes: Acipenseridae (sturgeons), Polyodontidae (paddlefishes), Lepisosteidae (gars), and Amiidae (bowfin). No other area of equal size can match this diversity of major fish groups. Worldwide, the number of species of fishes is estimated by Cohen (1979) as 21,000, by Eschmeyer (1998) as 25,000, and by Nelson (1994) as 28,500. These numbers compare with an estimated 23,550 tetrapod species — i.e., amphib­ians, "reptiles," birds, and mammals (Nelson 1994). As remote fresh waters and the deep seas are explored, as technologies develop to better identify diversity, and as we look closer at the millions of specimens in museums throughout the world, the number of valid species of fishes could reach 30,000 to 35,000 or higher.

While new species are discovered and described, others are becoming extinct. As time passes, numbers of new discoveries will decline and numbers of extinctions are expected to increase, even as serious global conservation practices are implemented.

The fresh waters of Alabama contain a notable subset of the world's freshwater fishes. Featured herein are 345 described and undescribed species of fishes, representing 24 orders, 40 families, and 111 genera. Four of the species are not known from Alabama but occur just outside the state; 29 are marine or brackish-water species that enter fresh water on a somewhat regular basis but always return to a saline environment to reproduce; and 16 are introduced species. Remaining are 295 native species that reproduce in the fresh waters of Alabama, either now or in the past. Adding five established introduced species brings to 300 the total number of species of fishes that repro-duce in fresh waters of Alabama. This diversity of fishes is higher than that of any other political unit in

North America and one of the largest faunas for any comparable area of the temperate world, representing 54% of the extant freshwater fishes of the southeast-ern United States, and 38% of the extant freshwater fishes in the entire United States and Canada com­bined. The great diversity of fishes in Alabama is remarkable considering the area of Alabama is only about 0.6% of that of North America. Only Tennessee, a political unit smaller in area than Alabama, has more native primary freshwater species on a species-area basis. The occurrence and distribution of the species are discussed in Chapter 2.

We consider freshwater fishes to be those that live and reproduce in fresh water with no apparent symp­toms of stress. We refer to these as primary freshwater fishes. Other biologists may take the strict geographi­cal approach and define freshwater fishes as those that occur in fresh water, without regard for the physiologi­cal consequences. We pondered the question of which fishes of Alabama's bays and estuaries should be included in the book. We arbitrarily decided to include those marine species known to occur frequently or occasion-ally in Alabama waters of less than 0.3 ppt salt.

While observing fishes in the wild and perusing the literature pertaining to the biology of fishes, we were constantly impressed by the ways fishes tenaciously cling to life and sustain themselves generation after generation. The reproductive strategies of some of our fishes are amazing. Imagine one that can produce in a single reproductive season a volume of eggs equal to several times its own body. Some of the minnows do just that. We have attempted to relate as much biology as available or practical, not only because it is interest­ing but also with the thought that the more the reader understands how fishes make their living the more likely he or she will protect them. This book contains accounts of many interesting observations about the lives of fishes; we hope the readers enjoy learning about them as much as we did.


Hatches II: A Complete Guide to the Hatches of North American Trout Streams by Al Caucci, Bob Nastasi (The Lyons Press) The twentieth-anniversary edition of Hatches II celebrates the enduring value of this complete guide to fishing the hatches of North American trout streams. Chosen by Trout Unlimited as one of the most important fly-fishing books of the past thrity-five years, Hatches II remains the most complete book on the subject of mayflies and their identification. Hundreds of photographs depict the genera and species of the mayfly in all stages of its development, and the authors provide critical information on mayfly biology, tactics, presentation, and imitation. In fact, the Comparadun style of tying, with variations, remains one of the most important innovations of our time.
Special features of Hatches II include Quick Reference Charts for the East/Midwest and western United States hatches; discussions of the mayfly-trout relationship; stream and lab research; photomacrography; tying instructions; emergence calendars; identification charts; and a valuable phonetic table.

Outstanding work on the Mayfly - the life cycle, location of specific hatches (and importance in the region), and even recommendations for flies to be used. There is a section of color photographs of nymphs, duns, and spinners of almost every species covered (noted if male or female) and tying instructions for some of the recommended flies. Bottom line, for the money, this is an excellent book you'll be thoroughly happy with. When you've read it though once you'll have a much better understanding of the subject and almost feel like a pro.

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