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Oceanography and the Fluctuations in the Abundance of Marine Animals*

Nature volume 142, pages 777779 (29 October 1938) | Download Citation



A MOST important feature of animal life in the sea is the constant occurrence of large variations in abundance, and these, though they may not be greater, appear to be more general in their incidence than in land animals. One year may be exceptionally favourable, with production far above normal, to be followed perhaps by several years of scarcity ; and it is not uncommon to find that fish belonging to one year-class are fifty times as numerous as those of another. It is on these great variations in abundance that fishery prediction is based.

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