Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 13: 365–366, 2003.
Lee A. Fuiman and Robert G. Werner (eds.), Fisheries
Science: The Unique Contributions of Early Life
Stages. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, UK, 2002.
Soft cover, 324 pp. ISBN: 0-632-05661-4
Fisheries Science was written to address the relative
lack of book-length information in the current
literature on the early life-stages of ﬁsh species.
Although there has been an increasing amount of
research focusing on the egg, larvae, and juvenile
stages of ﬁshes, the available information has never
been organized into textbook form. Clearly, an
understanding of the early life-stages of ﬁsh is
necessary to properly manage and study ﬁsh species.
Fisheries Science follows the traditional format
of a ﬁsheries management or ecology text, but
examines each topic from the perspective of the
early life-stages. The editors have assembled an
expert group of researchers and educators to write the
chapters. The topics covered include: age and growth,
mortality, recruitment, population analysis, cohort
identiﬁcation, habitat requirements, community and
species interactions, and management and human
impacts. In the last few chapters several case studies
are examined. These topics are moderately advanced,
and are likely limited to upper-level undergraduate
and graduate courses. This review is a product of
a class including both senior undergraduates and
early-stage graduate students.
Fisheries Science is intended to supplement
existing textbooks and present an introduction to the
importance of the early life-stages of ﬁsh species.
Indeed, many of the chapters could stand alone as
supplemental readings for a ﬁsheries course, while
avoiding excessive details that could confuse the
reader. Toward this end, most of the chapters are fairly
short and a list of supplementary readings is provided.
However, it is difﬁcult to discern the level at which
this book will work best. As with any edited text, there
are a variety of styles and approaches. Some chapters
are able to balance their length, level of detail, and
difﬁculty, whereas others are less successful.
The book begins by providing an excellent
summary of important information about the early
life-stages of ﬁsh. The logical progression of infor-
mation in Chapter 1 makes it easy to follow and
the material is heavily reinforced by references.
The second chapter provides an extremely detailed
description of techniques used to age larval ﬁsh, as
well as a review of the unique aspects of growth
of early life stages. This chapter could be intimidat-
ing to readers who lack a strong background in
studies of age and growth. Chapter 3 presents a
strong introduction to the causes of natural mortality
in early life stages and discusses modeling tech-
niques unique to this topic. The following chapter
contains a fairly low-level discussion of recruitment
that focuses primarily on qualitative issues pertaining
to larval survival. Additional references should be
provided if this chapter is to be used for an upper-
level class. The ﬁfth chapter provides an effective
description of population analysis methods. Chapter 6
is well-written and may be useful as an introduction
to cohort identiﬁcation techniques. However, the lack
of additional readings limits its usefulness as a supple-
mentary text. Habitat requirements of early life-stages
of ﬁsh are described qualitatively in Chapter 7. For
this topic, qualitative descriptions are an appropriate
way to present the material. Chapter 8 presents an
overview of species interactions. This chapter is well
written, informative, and effectively references other
chapters in the text. Chapters 9 and 10, entitled “Fish-
eries Management” and “Human Impacts”, should
have provided a capstone for the entire book, but the
material covered is disappointingly basic and would
not provide much new information to an upper-level
class. Three case studies are presented in Chapter 11.
These cover species from Japan to the Great Lakes
to the Danube River and include the only non-
North American authors in the book. We found that