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UMass Amherst Libraries

NRC 100 Environment and Society

Fish ecology and conservation assignment

Government sources

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications - Search the name of the species. 
NOTE: Documents that government agencies produce are ruled by laws, and the research is focused on the exact requirements in those laws, so they are sometimes difficult to understand without knowing what laws they are governed by. 

A search can produce many documents - narrow your results with other terms, such as habitat or biology.

Two series of reports - Essential Fish Habitat Source Documents and Species Profiles - give basic biological information on a species. They cover different species with some overlap, but not all species! They tend to be commercially important ones.

  • Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements... for 126 species, published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. 
    Note that these were written prior to 2000 so they are not current, but they do provide a comprehensive "sketch" of the species.See a sample report on Striped Bass.

Access these reports individually in the Five Colleges library catalog .
      Search: Title Keywords and enter species profiles and your species name.

or through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (see above)

Reliable websites

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Fisheries website. 

FishBase - species summaries for over 31,000 fish. Created by the WorldFish Center partnering with many international agencies, including FAO and the European Commission. NOTE: May take a long time to load.

FAO FishFinder - FAO is the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This site helps identify commercially relevant fish.
See links on left, esp. Fact Sheets for individual species. and other broader publications, though they are often not very recent.

FIGIS - Aquatic species distribution maps of interest to fisheries - Also from FAO, a collection of aquatic species distribution maps of interest to fisheries that users can browse and visualize in real-time. 874 species maps available as of Aug 2015.


Mostly Statistics and Demographics

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Fish Stock Rebuilding Plans in the United States - 2013 report from the National Academies Press.  Their publications are usually free to download or read online.

Office of Science and Technology Publications, including annual data on commercial and recreational fishing from the National Marine Fisheries Service (part of NOAA).

This includes FOSS - Fisheries One-Stop Shop Information portal, where the most recent U.S. data can be found on catch size for many commercially important fish. Part of Data.Gov.

FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Fisheries Statistics and other publications, such as The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture.