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Tropical Snappers and Groupers. Biology and Fisheries Management. Jeffrey J. Polovina Stephen Ralston, Jr.

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  • Osprey Aquatic Sciences
Tropical Snappers and Groupers. Biology and Fisheries Management. by Jeffrey J. Polovina;
Stephen Ralston,
Review by: Stephen A. Bortone
The Quarterly Review of Biology,
Vol. 63, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 105-106
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2828053 .
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MARCH
1988
NEW BIOLOGICAL BOOKS
105
AQUATIC SCIENCES
RESEARCH ON DOLPHINS.
Edited by M M Bryden and Richard Harrison. Claren-
don
Press (Oxford University Press), Oxford and New
York. $85.00. xiv + 478 p.; ill.; index. ISBN:
0-19-857606-4. 1986.
The book provides a useful compilation of recent
research on some of the smaller toothed whales. It
is divided into three parts: Part I, Anatomy and
Physiology (9 Chapters); Part II, Dolphins in Cap-
tivity (3 Chapters); and Part III, Dolphins
in the
Oceans
(9 Chapters). Thirty-three
researchers
con-
tributed to the
volume,
and
many
of
them
are
leaders in their fields.
Although
all
chapters are well organized
and
well
written, several stand out
as
particularly important
contributions. Ridgway
and Harrison review
pres-
ent knowledge of diving
in
dolphins
in a
thorough
and
insightful manner,
and
Ridgway
does so for dol-
phin
brain size as well.
McBrearty, Message
and
King
show
that,
with
proper analysis
and
caution,
much can be
learned about marine
mammal
dis-
tribution
from
sighting
records
produced by
rela-
tively
untrained commercial
and
private shipping
personnel. Cowan, Walker,
and Brownell
explore
the
pathology
of stranded
dolphins
in
some
detail,
and
Klinowska
presents
a
very convincing
account
of live
strandings
as
often
being
related to mistakes
made in
reading
the
earth's
magnetic
field. Klin-
owska has an
especially
valuable
summary
of the
potential
role of
magnetism
in
orientation
and
navi-
gation
of marine mammals.
Possibly my
favorite
chapter
is
one
by
R.
J.
Morris
on the acoustic
faculty
of
dolphins.
Morris
explores
the
evolution of
the head
and
jaw,
the
composition
of the
dolphin
forehead and mandibles as
poten-
tially
related
to
sound
production
and
reception,
the
acoustic emissions of
dolphins,
and the
two
ma-
jor competing hypotheses
of
sound
production
and
reception. One states that dolphins produce sounds
with
the
larynx
and
receive them at
or
near the au-
ditory
meatus
(in
conventional mammalian
style);
the other
hypothesis
states that
sound is
produced
in
the nasal
plug
area of the
forehead,
and
received
in
large part through
an acoustic wave
guide
in
the
lower
jaw.
Morris
fairly (it
seems to
me)
evaluates
the
two
hypotheses
and states that with
present
knowledge
it
appears likely
that sound
production
and
reception
occurs
in all
of
these
postulated areas,
with
differences
relating
to
the
types
of sounds
pro-
duced. River
dolphins appear
to
represent
an
ex-
ception,
and
their
sounds
may
travel
only by
the
conventional mammalian routes. This assertion is
certainly not definitive or final, but it
is a
pleasure
to read an authoritative account
on
dolphin
sounds
that presents potentially disparate views in balanced
and logical manner.
There are, as always in a compendium of many
topics by a large number of authors, some regret-
table
inadequacies. Two,
in
particular,
bothered
me.
In a chapter on line transect sampling
of
dolphins
it appeared
a shame
that
no use was made of
the
now extensive development
of line
transect
meth-
odology pertaining
to baleen whales.
In a
chapter
on cephalopods in the diet
of odontocetes
extremely
short
shrift was
given
to
a
possible explanation
of
how some beaked
whales and toothed
whales
may
take
squid by stunning
them
with sound.
These relatively minor failings must not obscure
the fact that
this is a well-edited and valuable con-
tribution to
our
knowledge
of
marine
mammalogy.
The writing is generally clear and to the point, there
is a good subject index, papers are up to date, and
the book will
undoubtedly serve
as a useful
marker
of
present knowledge about many aspects of dol-
phin biology.
BERND WORSIG, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories,
Moss
Landing California
TROPICAL SNAPPERS AND
GROUPERS.
Biology and
Fish-
eries
Management.
Edited
byJeffreyj
Polovina
and Stephen Ralston,
Jr
Westview
Press,
Boulder
(Colorado). $43.50
(paper).
x
+
659 p.; ill.;
no
index. ISBN: 0-8133-7179-1.
1987.
The
absolute necessity to
manage the fishery
re-
sources of
tropical and
warm
temperate
areas
of the
world,
and the paucity
of
compiled,
available in-
formation on
them,
makes this
edited
volume
of 15
articles
by
18
specialists
both
timely
and
significant.
This
book is the result of a
1985 workshop
which
was sponsored
by
the U.S. National Marine Fish-
eries
Service,
and which
sought
to
summarize the
information base
on
snapper (Lutjanidae)
and
grouper
(Serranidae)
fishes. The
papers included
in this volume
represent
a
"resource-specific"
per-
spective on the
management
as well as
relevant life-
history features of these fish
resources.
Chapters
1
to
3
present
a
complete
and
up-to-
date taxonomic overview of the
currently recognized
species. Identification characteristics are
presented,
but the almost
encyclopedic
format is
difficult to
follow for
persons
with
only
a
casual interest. The
value of
these
compendium-like
chapters is reduced
because little
synthesis
of
this information is
at-
tempted. Future writers
of
taxonomic
surveys
should
be more attentive than these writers
to the needs
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106
THE
QUARTERLY
REVIEW OF
BIOLOGY VOLUME 63
of non-taxonomically
oriented
readers.
Addition-
ally, there
are
some inconsistencies
among
the
presentations
(each
chapter
having been written
by
a separate
author).
It would
have been useful
for
the authors
to have
collaborated
more closely
re-
garding
style and
format.
The
next
six sections
(Ch.
4-9) present the
reader
with a
comprehensive
survey
of the life history
in-
formation
pertinent
to developing
and monitoring
a
fisheries
management
strategy.
These well-tuned
chapters
are extremely
useful in
that the recent
liter-
ature
has been
ably compiled
and organized
both
in
the text
and in
summary tables.
Larval
life his-
tory and
reproduction
(presented
separately
by Leis,
Grimes,
and Shapiro)
are straightforward,
factual,
and comprehensible.
The chapters on
age-and-
growth
(Ch. 7, by
Manooch),
mortality
rates (Ch.
8, by
Ralston),
and feeding (Ch.
9, by
Parrish)
are
just as
informative
and
comprehensive.
A criticism
might
be that
too often
each
chapter
begins
with
a
lengthy,
primer-like
introduction. Although these
may serve
as
a review for some
users
or an
introduc-
tion to
basic
methodology
for
others,
they
more
properly
belong
in an introductory
textbook
on fish-
ery
biology.
The
remaining
chapters are
more specifically
oriented toward fishery
management.
Some are
rather
case-specific,
such
as the detailed
examina-
tion of the demersal
fisheries off northwestern
Aus-
tralia
(Ch.
10, by
Sainsbury)
and off
Hawaii
and
the
Marianas
(Ch.
11, by
Polovina),
whereas others
such as
Bannerot
et
al.
(Ch.
13)
deal with
reproduc-
tive
modes
and
management
strategy.
The eco-
nomics
of these
fisheries is covered
only
by Pooley
(Ch.
14)
but
the
chapter
is
specifically
oriented to
the
Hawaiian
bottom
fishery.
The
utility of this
book is
much broader
than
its
title
implies.
Not
only
is it
a
comprehensive
man-
ual with
references documenting
the current
state
of
knowledge
of
two
ecologically
and
recreationally
or
commercially
important
fish
groups,
but it
also
presents
a case
study
of a
situation
usually
encoun-
tered
when
studying
fisheries,
inasmuch as these
fisheries
have
sparse
but
increasing
data bases cou-
pled
with
developing
analytical
and technical
metho-
dologies.
STEPHEN
A.
BORTONE,
The
University of
West
Florida,
Pensacola,
Florida
FROGFISHES
OF THE
WORLD:
SYSTEMATICS,
Zoo-
GEOGRAPHY,
AND BEHAVIORAL
ECOLOGY.
By
Theodore
W
Pietsch and David
B. Grobecker.
Stan-
ford
University
Press, Stanford
(California).
$67.50.
xxiii
+
420
p.
+ 8
pl.; ill.;
index. ISBN:
0-8047-
1263-8.
1987.
ECOLOGICAL STUDIES IN TROPICAL FISH COMMUNI-
TIES. Cambridge Tropical Biology Series.
By R. H. Lowe-McConnell; Series
Editors:
Peter S.
Ashton et al. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
and New
York.
$64.50 (hardcover); $22.95 (paper).
xiii + 382 p.; ill.; index. ISBN: 0-521-23601-0
(hc); 0-521-28064-8 (pb). 1987.
Tropical fishes offer a number of unusual and in-
triguing ecological and evolutionary puzzles that
make them fascinating subjects for a monograph.
Many freshwater fishes inhabiting tropical rivers face
daunting challenges
from
the combination of
nu-
trient-poor stretches of river in dense forest and sea-
sonal flooding that swiftly opens enormous acres
of
water-covered land for temporary habitation. The
rift-lakes of Africa contain an astounding radiation
of
cichlid fishes, whose
local
diversity demands
ex-
planation. Coral-reef fishes undergo
a
pelagic egg
or
larval stage, during
which
the organism
drifts
and mixes with
conspecifics
from an unknown
num-
ber
and
range
of
sources before settling onto shal-
low reefs. This type of recruitment, which does not
occur in most terrestrial animals, powerfully in-
fluences
local
population processes
and has
gener-
ated ongoing controversies
over
such issues as the
role
of
competition and stochasticity
in
structuring
adult populations.
In
this book,
her third on
tropical fishes,
Rose-
mary Lowe-McConnell
has drawn
together and syn-
thesized a huge range of ecological studies
on
fresh-
water and marine fishes throughout the world. Aside
from the Introduction, the book
is divided into
three
sections:
Freshwater
Studies,
Marine
Fish
Studies,
and
Syntheses.
The first section is
organized
accord-
ing
to
geographical
distribution
-
i.e., African,
ne-
otropical,
and
Far-Eastern-and
according
to
habitat
-
i.e.,
riverine and lacustrine.
In
each
region
and
habitat,
she discusses
species diversity, trophic
and
predator-prey
relations
within the
community,
special problems
faced
by
the
fishes, and,
to some
extent, aspects
of
reproductive biology.
The second
section contains
chapters
on
coral-
reef, demersal,
and
pelagic fishes,
and covers
much
of the same
ground
as
the
first
section;
it also -dis-
cusses
special
features of
marine fish
ecology,
such
as the
relatively highly developed
social
systems,
reproductive specializations (including
sex
change),
and
symbiotic relationships
that
have
developed
in
coral-reef
fishes.
Both of these sections
introduce
conceptual
is-
sues as
they
relate to the
topics
under
discussion,
but the
emphasis
is
decidedly
on
describing
the
results of the studies
reviewed.
The
synthetic
third
section
organizes
the
findings
into a more issue-
oriented
framework,
but the
diversity
of
fishes,
habitats, problems, study methods,
and
unique
sit-
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