Tonn, W.M., Magnuson, J.J., Rask, M. and Toivonen, J. (1990) Intercontinental comparison of small-
lake ®sh assemblages: the balance between local and regional processes. Am. Nat. 136,
Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Northwest Atlantic Ground®sh: Perspectives on a Fishery Collapse
J. Boreman, B.S. Nakashima, J.A. Wilson and R.L. Kendall (eds)
American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD, 1997
ISBN 1-888569-06-9, $39.00 US
Soft cover, acid-free paper, pp. xx 242, 1 table, 50 ®gures
Available from: AFS Publication Ful®llment, PO Box 1020, Sewickley, PA 15143, USA (fax: 1 412
This book is the result of a multi-disciplinary effort by the American Fisheries Society
(AFS), which, after its 124th annual meeting (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, August
1994), formed the `ground®sh steering committee' speci®cally to produce it.
The original aim was ``to provide an informational resource for public discussions
about rehabilitating and sustaining the now-depleted ground®sh stocks of the NW
Atlantic'', where ground®sh covers demersal and benthic species of ®sh, and NW
Atlantic extends from Labrador to New England.
Authors were instructed ``to distill the knowledge relevant to the issue and treat
matters dispassionately, fairly, and without aspersion'' for a ``readership to include
interested citizens who lack training in the biological, social and political sciences''.
The book is organized in two parts, of ®ve and eight chapters respectively. The ®rst
part, `The Once and Present Fishery', provides a synthesis of historical changes in the
environment (1. Climate and oceanography), catch and effort (2. Ground®sh stocks and
the ®shing industry), and ®sheries policy (4. Policy framework). Two chapters bring
these together, from the biological assessment angle (3. Why have ground®sh stocks
declined?) and from the human dimension (5. Role of local institutions in ground®sh
The second part, `Management Considerations for Rehabilitated Stocks', reviews the
basis for past and future management (6. Single-species and multispecies management;
7. Ecosystem-based management; 8. Fishery reserves; 9. Fishing gear management; 10.
User rights in ®shing; 11. Comanagement; 12. Corporate management of ®sheries; 13.
The American Fisheries Society ``is committed to promoting the conservation,
development and wise use of ®sheries resources by producing information in accessible
forms and fostering dialogue and partnerships''. This book was ``intended to describe
the problems, not dictate the answers'', and it does it well.
I found three features particularly refreshing in these `perspectives'. First, the large-
Book reviews 497