Fish Production in Open Ocean Ecosystems

  • K. H. Mann
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


It has been known for several decades that there exists in all the major oceans a sonic scattering layer which during the day is often found between 450 and 750m depth, but which divides at night into components that rise close to the surface and others that stay at depth. The organisms responsible for this sonic reverberation are predominantly fish and crustaceans. Two major symposia have been devoted to the ecology of sound scattering organisms (Farquhar, 1971; Andersen and Zahuranec, 1977) and it is now known that the scattering layers are more or less continuous across the oceans. There are untold millions of fish rising to feed in surface waters at night. This review explores the relationship of these fish populations to those that permanently inhabit the upper layers (tuna, sharks, and their prey species, such as mackerels, jacks and sauries) and those that live permanently at great depth. There appears to be a potential for exploitation of the fish of the sonic scattering layer (at least in the area of greatest concentration), but before this exploitation is seriously contemplated it is important to understand the ecological relations of mesopelagic fishes in open water ecosystems.


Fish Production Bluefin Tuna Subtropical Gyre Benthic Fish Yellowfin Tuna 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. H. Mann
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Ecology LaboratoryBedford Institute of OceanographyDartmouthCanada

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