Forty-year-old concepts around fish respiration regain prominence in light of climate change

Before Dr. Daniel Pauly, now the principal investigator of the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia, became a doctoral student, he spent two years doing fisheries work in Indonesia.

Common carp. Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ, Wikimedia Commons.

Having done his academic studies in Germany, he was surprised to discover a near absence of information on the growth of tropical fish. Thus, upon his return to Kiel University’s Institute of Marine Sciences, he decided to find out how fish grew; the idea was that if general patterns emerged, they could be applied to the many species in Indonesia and elsewhere in the tropics.

His doctoral dissertation was, consequently, built around identifying the factors that govern fish growth.


“It is not often that one sees the second edition of a doctoral thesis, let alone one that is 45 years old,” Dr. Pauly wrote in his preface. “However, there are good reasons why this work, originally conceived as providing a methodology for inferring the growth parameters of fish exploited by tropical fisheries, is being re-issued when our main environmental problem is global warming.”

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About Joann Glorioso

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