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Recruitment in flatfishes: lines for future research
Sharp, G.D. (1994). Recruitment in flatfishes: lines for future research. Neth. J. Sea Res. 32(2): 227-230
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
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  • Sharp, G.D.

    Understanding of any generalities and principles in fisheries science comes only after substantial efforts to collate and compare available information. This second flatfish symposium was formulated around the concept of falsifying testable hypotheses, although the results were marginal at best, and progress toward any novel insights was elusive. I have a history of posing the question, Why? I attempted to answer this by pointing out some of the information voids necessary to the integration of organismal physiology and behaviours, appropriate scale environmental variabilities, and the lack of our ability, or opportunity, to measure any of these processes on sufficient numbers of species to gain those insights. Second, I wonder why the continued statistical efforts to manipulate great masses of fuzzy fisheries catch and sampling data, particularly when the action in life histories of fishes takes place at the local scale, upon individuals, in a very nearly binary fashion,rather than over a somehow unified distribution that would be required in order to apply, appropriately, mean and variance or regression procedures. That there has to be a stock-recruitment relation is not logical. That plaice appear to have one implies two things: that there is a real bottle-neck in their adult habitat, and/or, that the stock/recruitment data are themselves misleading artifacts. I remain convinced that the answers lie in better understanding of predator-prey relations, and much better understanding of physiologically significant environmental variabilities, rather than in more sophisticated mathematical processing of inadequate, and indirect inferences. Flatfish are proving themselves to be fish, with a twist. That is encouraging, but not enlightening.

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