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World aquatic biomass: its future abundance
Kesteven, G.L. (1962). World aquatic biomass: its future abundance, in: Heen, E. et al. Fish in nutrition. pp. 9-22
In: Heen, E.; Kreuzer, R. (1962). Fish in nutrition. Fishing News (Books): London. XXIII, 447 pp., more

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    VLIZ: Biological Resources [10619]


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  • Kesteven, G.L.

    This paper suggests the following points with regard to the general question, for which it is required to provide an answer: (1) Any exarnination of what biomass there will be in the future must be qualitative; (2) The question is an ecological one; (3) There is a community biomass as weIl as a species biomass; (4) An estimate of total biomass of the biosphere is of less interest than estimates of the biomass of each of many separate species and communities ;(5) There is less interest in the biomass of a standing crop than in the capacity of a community or species to produce biomass; (6) The structure and magnitude, and hence biomass, of a community or of a species population, may vary within a season, seasonally and annually, and may exhibit a trend;(7) Under natural conditions there may be a trend to increase biomass; (8) Man's activities interfere with natural processes; in so far as he acts as predator on, or disturbs, natural systems, he may halt or reverse upward trends in them; however, he also has powers to act in a contrary sense. The paper then exarnines man's role and seeks to show that: (1) Even as predator, man can regulate his activities so as not to cause irremediable damage;(2) The principle of eumetric fishing gives man a way of maximizing the productive capacity of a species population (stock of fish) under specified conditions ; (3) By an extension of the principle of eumetric fishing, man could probably increase community-productive-capacity; and if he could extend the range of species of which he could make use, he would have increased yield from the community; (4) Man's activities as disturber (causer of erosion, producer of sewage and effluents, builder of dams, etc.) have both deleterious and beneficial effects; he has means to maximize the latter, and to minimize or even convert to his advantage the former ;(5) Man can intervene in natural systems to determine their structure and size and the pace of their processes, even in the sea; perhaps the most direct approach would be by a deepening of the application of eumetric fishing. This review leads to the logical conclusion that the biomass of the future is likely to be as much more or less than it is now, as man makes it to be.

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