How well we manage the world’s marine resources impacts the
quality of life for much of the human race. Seafood provides most
of the animal protein available to more than half the world’s
people; for many in poor coastal countries, it is the only source.
world seafood catch increased from about 30 million tons in 1960 to about
85 million tons in 1992. The total demand for seafood is expected to reach
140 million tons by 2010 both because of the increase in the earth’s human
population and increased consumption of seafood by societies that
traditionally ate more meat .
This demand for seafood may not be
sustainable. Fish populations have already deteriorated in many areas. To
intelligently manage the world’s supply of seafood, scientists need to
understand what factors affect the reproduction of fish, and in particular,
how fishing affects the long term supply.