NOAA 99-R510
Contact: Jana Goldman


Experts from the United States, Canada and Europe offer a fish-eye's view of habitat and how human and natural events affect where fish live, in a book recently published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Sea Grant College Program and the nonprofit American Fisheries Society.

The book, Fish Habitat: Essential Fish Habitat and Restoration, is the proceedings from a Sea Grant-sponsored symposium held at the AFS's 1998 annual meeting. Colorful fish and a heron adorn the cover of the book, which was edited by Lee Benaka, the first AFS/Sea Grant Fellow. Benaka, a fisheries specialist with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, is working with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, which also provided funding for the book's publication.

The 27 chapters, written by scientists, fisheries managers, environmentalists, and industry representatives, describe habitat identification, fishing and nonfishing impacts, and rehabilitation and socioeconomic issues, as they affect the Great Lakes as well as coastal regions. Intensive fishing all over the world has caused the depletion of some fish stocks and the decline of others. Essential fish habitat is seen as a way to restore and maintain healthy fish stocks.

In his foreword, Ronald C. Baird, director of the National Sea Grant College Program, writes:" This volume...represents the tentative first steps in setting a national agenda on essential fish habitat that could determine in large measure the tempo and mode of this country's evolution toward the integrated management of coastal and marine environments."

Copies of the book can be ordered from the AFS by calling (412) 741-5700. The hardcover, 459-page book is $34 for AFS members and $55 for non-members.

NOAA's mission is to describe and predict changes in the Earth's environment and to conserve and manage wisely the nation's coastal and marine resources.