The development of ideas and methods in the quantitative study of the patterns of growth, maturation and longevity in fish is reviewed. Earlier studies on length and age at maturity, von Bertalanffy growth formula parameters, natural mortality and maximum age for clupeiformes, pleuronectiformes, gadiformes and Sebastes spp. are up-dated and extended. The concept of the Growth-Maturity-Longevity (GML) plot is developed and applied. GML plots for the gadiformes and pleuronectiformes occupy the same two-dimensional space, but those for clupeiformes and Sebastes are located differently from them and from each other. The GML parameter suite for long-lived Sebastes spp. is similar to that of certain higher vertebrates of comparable longevity (minke whale and African elephant). It is suggested that the conventional distinction between the growth of fish being indeterminate and that for higher vertebrates determinate is inappropriate; the main difference is whether the approach to the characteristic maximum size is asymptotic, as in fish and some higher vertebrates, or abrupt as in others, including man.