Myself, I like a black seabass. Grilled.
November 30, 2005 7:54 PM Subscribe
How Many Fish are in the Sea? During the heady days of the late 19th century, in response to a perceived decline in coastal finfish stocks, Spencer Baird and his clutch of young naturalists at the Smithsonian set out to find the answer. In 1871, Baird founded the U.S. Fish Commission. The Comission set up operations in Woods Hole, MA, where it continues its work today as the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (a branch of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service). The Fish Census of 1880 established the fist benchmark on fish populations in coastal waters; crews of Gloucester schooners competed to see who could bring the most bizarre fish finds up from the platueaus of the Grand Banks, and America’s first research vessel, the Albatross, was purpose-built for the project. Baird's protege (and later successor) George Brown Goode compiled the data into the first comprehensive reference work on American fisheries. Known to students of salt water as “Goode’s Fisheries”, the report (beautifully illustrated) remains invaluable to researchers today, as today's fish populations dip into an even more drastic decline.
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