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Fisheries: History, Science, and Management

Surface Water Hydrology

  1. Robert T. Lackey

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.sw249

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Lackey, R. T. 2005. Fisheries: History, Science, and Management. Water Encyclopedia. 3:121–129.

Author Information

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Corvallis, Oregon

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


The overall goal of fisheries management is to produce sustainable biological, social, and economic benefits from renewable aquatic resources. Fisheries are classified as renewable because the organisms of interest (fish, shellfish, reptiles, amphibians, and marine mammals) usually produce an annual biological surplus that, with judicious management, can be harvested without reducing future productivity. In contrast, nonrenewable resources (oil, coal, iron, and copper) are available in fixed quantities and are not replaced except over geologic time.

The benefits that humans gain from a fishery are diverse and may be enumerated in several ways. Most commonly, benefits are computed as commodity output—the weight or number of fish produced. Commodity output may be further split between the animals harvested by capture (fishing for wild animals) or culture (produced as captive animals)—commonly called the capture fisheries and the culture fisheries, respectively.


  • aquaculture;
  • aquarium;
  • coastal resources;
  • commercial fishing;
  • ecosystem management;
  • endangered species;
  • fish;
  • fisheries;
  • fisheries management;
  • fisheries science;
  • habitat;
  • lakes;
  • multiple use management;
  • ocean;
  • recreational fishing;
  • reservoirs;
  • rivers;
  • shellfish;
  • sport fishing;
  • stocks;
  • streams