Synopses & Reviews
Fish Conservation offers, for the first time in a single volume, a readable reference with a global approach to marine and freshwater fish diversity and fishery resource issues. Gene Helfman brings together available knowledge on the decline and restoration of freshwater and marine fishes, providing ecologically sound answers to biodiversity declines as well as to fishery management problems at the subsistence, recreational, and commercial levels. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the book:
considers the value of preserving aquatic biodiversity
offers an overview of imperiled fishes on a taxonomic and geographic basis
presents a synthesis of common characteristics of imperiled fishes and their habitats
details anthropogenic causes of decline
examines human exploitation issues
addresses ethical questions surrounding exploitation of fishes
The final chapter integrates topics and evaluates prospects for arresting declines, emphasizing the application of evolutionary and ecological principles in light of projected trends. Throughout, Helfman provides examples, explores case studies, and synthesizes available information from a broad taxonomic, habitat, and geographic range.
Fish Conservation summarizes the current state of knowledge about the degradation and restoration of diversity among fishes and the productivity of fishery resources, pointing out areas where progress has been made and where more needs to be done. Solutions focus on the application of ecological knowledge to solving practical problems, recognizing that effective biodiversity conservation depends on meeting human needs through management that focuses on long term sustainability and an ecosystem perspective.
"This work is unique because it deals globally with fish, rather than fisheries conservation ... Helfman writes in a disarmingly candid and often colorful style, and provides many case examples and vignettes."
"Thorough, thought-provoking, factually deep, and conceptually wide, this is an awesome, excellent book. Fish Conservation will be one of those rare, special books constantly called upon to furnish facts and settle arguments. The author's touches and flourishes give a sense of personal warmth unusual in a reference book. Destined to be a classic."
"Professor Helfman has produced a monumental treatment of a critical endeavor—to halt the global decline of fish diversity and conserve the rich array of species and assemblages that populate our freshwater and marine ecosystems. Packed with fascinating details, conservation success stories and tragedies, practical advice, and personal perspectives, this book will be indispensable for scientists, fisherfolk, water managers, and conservationists. Thank you, Gene, for this splendid culmination of your lifelong efforts to 'give something back to the fishes.'"
"In Fish Conservation, Helfman provides a clear analysis of the state of the world's fish fauna and fisheries, and he takes away our excuse of ignorance for not engaging in major efforts to conserve fish abundance and diversity. This book is a benchmark for the status of fishes worldwide and should be within arm's reach of every aquatic and fisheries biologist. In years to come, it will help us answer the question, 'How well are we doing?' in fish conservation."
"As an ichthyologist, Helfman blends conservation with the science that must underlie any meaningful conservation effort. A truly excellent book and a valuable contribution to our understanding of biodiversity issues."
"The work is lively, with references to popular works by famous marine environmentalists and writers who have focused on oceanic issues....This well-written textbook, with its occasional signs of flair, is comprehensive, modest, and alarming."
"This is truly a wonderful, well-written, coherently organized book... this book belongs in the hands of not only fishery managers and fish conservation professionals, but anyone with a love for fishes. Moreover, it belongs in the hands of anyone who would ask 'Why should I care about fish?'"
"This college level text is designed to give the reader a reasonable base of knowledge on fish conservation from which to continue study in more detail ... Helfman summarizes the current body of knowledge on fish diversity, species degradation and restoration, and long-term sustainability via an ecosystem perspective."
Fish Conservation offers, for the first time in a single volume, a readable reference with a global approach to marine and freshwater fish diversity and fishery resource issues. Gene Helfman brings together available knowledge on the decline and restoration of freshwater and marine fishes, providing ecologically sound answers to biodiversity declines as well as to fishery management problems at the subsistence, recreational, and commercial levels.
About the Author
Gene S. Helfman is emeritus professor in the Institute of Ecology and the program
in conservation ecology and sustainable development at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Table of Contents
PART I. Introduction
Chapter 1. Fish Biodiversity and Why It Should Matter
PART II. Imperiled Fishes: Taxonomy, Geography, and Vulnerability
Chapter 2. Roll Call I: A Taxonomic Perspective
Chapter 3. Roll Call II: A Geopolitical Perspective
Chapter 4. Characteristics of Vulnerable Species and Correlates of Imperilment
Part III. Indirect Causes of Decline: Habitat, Water, and Introductions
Chapter 5. Habitat Modification and Loss
Chapter 6. Dams, Impoundments, and Other Hydrological Alterations
Chapter 7. Degraded Water Quality
Chapter 8. Alien Species I: Case Histories, Mechanisms, and Levels of Impact
Chapter 9. Alien Species II: Understanding the Process, Minimizing the Impact
Part IV. Direct Causes of Decline: Fishes as Commodities
Chapter 10. Fishes Versus Fisheries I: Overfishing
Chapter 11. Fishes Versus Fisheries II: Behavior, Life History Evolution, and Ecosystems
Chapter 12. Coral Reefs, Fishes, and Fisheries: Exploitation in Fragile Ecosystems
Chapter 13. The Trade in Live Fishes
Chapter 14. The Promise of Aquaculture and Hatcheries
Part V. Asking Hard Questions, Sorting Out Answers
Chapter 15. The Ethics of Exploitation and Intervention: Do We Have the Right?
Chapter 16. Future Perspectives: Beyond Gloom and Doom?
Appendix I: Probable Fish Extinctions