Abstract— Spectral irradiance measurements. from 310 to 650 nm. have been made in low and modcrately productive ocean waters. These new data and selected earlier clear ocean water data are used as a basis for extrapolating the diffuse attenuation coefficient for irradiance into the 280 nm region. This allows a quantitative calculation of the penetration of UV-B (280–340 nm) and of biologically (DNA) effective dose-rates as a function of depth into various ocean water types. The model of Green et al. (1974a) for various atmospheric ozone thicknesses has been used to obtain input surface irrddiancc for this calculation. Our purpose is to provide a basis for estimating the penetration of possible increased UV-B into natural waters due to possible changes in the ozone concentration of the stratosphere. Given appropriate biological data, this method allows a quantitative evaluation of radiation effects on aquatic organisms as a function of depth. As a specific example, our results have been graphically compared with the dosage-response results on anchovy larvae obtained by Hunter et al. (1978).