Living Resources of the Sea: Opportunities for Research and Expansion

Living Resources of the Sea: Opportunities for Research and Expansion

Living Resources of the Sea: Opportunities for Research and Expansion

Living Resources of the Sea: Opportunities for Research and Expansion

Excerpt

The sea is a wilderness. Threadbare though that phrase may have become in poetic literature, it still expresses an overwhelming fact. The sea is a mysterious wilderness, full of secrets. It is inhabited only by wild animals and, with the exception of a few special situations, is uncultivated. Most of what we know about it we have had to learn indirectly with mechanical contrivances designed to probe, feel, sample, fish.

This study was undertaken to determine how the harvest of sea fisheries could be substantially increased for the benefit of humanity. Human food needs are world-wide, and so therefore is the scope of this study. Emphasis, however, has been placed on the problems of those regions where population pressures and food needs are most critical.

What I have written is addressed, in effect, to everyone who is interested in the rich possibilities of the marine wilderness and is concerned with using the planet intelligently. Specifically, I hope it will prove both helpful and stimulating to fishery scientists and students who are preparing for careers concerned with fisheries; to government administrators of marine fishery agencies; to commercial fishermen, brokers, and processors; and perhaps most of all to those who direct philanthropic organizations and seek ways to disburse grants for furthering human welfare.

Although we have conquered the land as we have conquered our ignorance about it, the problem of conquering the sea is much more formidable and complex. The sea cannot be cleared or plowed, sown or fertilized, or set apart for the exclusive use of the desired animals and plants. The open sea will probably always be essentially a wild place, and we who concern ourselves with it had best accept that fact. But as we become more intimate with the world of the sea, and with the natural laws governing its inhabitants, we can develop a science of exploiting its resources and to that extent the sea need not remain a complete wilderness. One hopeful point . . .

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