Helen M. Rozwadowski
University of Connecticut, Avery Point, US

Hydrography + Fisheries: Variations on Fisheries Hydrography in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)

Time and place
Wednesday 24 February 2015, 14.15
Room A601, Arrhenius Laboratory, 6th floor


Oceanography is a discipline defined more by the geographic location it studies than by a common set of intellectual questions.  Its subfields, including that of fisheries oceanography, are likewise characterized by interdisciplinary inquiry.  A relatively new field if the 1992 founding of a journal by that name is the signpost, fisheries oceanography has a much deeper history.  This paper explores the roots of fisheries oceanography in the series of efforts made under the umbrella of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to combine hydrography and fisheries science.  I argue that ICES responded to the intersection of intellectual questions and societal needs – in this case the drive to understand why fish stocks, and therefore fisheries, fluctuated – as it tried to promote effective cooperation between hydrographers and fisheries biologists in support of fisheries.  The origins of the present sub-field called recruitment fisheries oceanography are a wide-ranging set of traditions that included not only fisheries biology and hydrography (physical oceanography), but also plankton research, meteorology, the ideals of international cooperation in science, and practical efforts to help fishermen catch more fish.