It is impossible to place a date on the beginning of fishery research. It no doubt existed in a primitive way among the earliest civilizations. For practical reasons, the scope of this paper is limited to the four countries bordering the North Pacific--Japan, Canada, Russia and the United States--and to research directed towards a better understanding and management of the fishery resources of commercial value. It is interesting that development of fishery research in three of the four countries was prompted by a serious decline in their salmon runs and by the adoption of hatcheries as a means to restore or maintain the depleted runs. The only difference was in Russia where fishery research began with a decline in sturgeon in the Volga and the Caspian Sea. In the Russian Far East, however, it again was a decline in salmon in the Amur and Sakhalin rivers and all were linked primarily to loss or damage to their freshwater environment. Overfishing and destructive fishing practices were recognized almost from the beginning but it was not until 1917 that the work of Thompson on Pacific halibut led to the development of modern theory of population dynamics for the management of the fisheries. Following are notes on the development of fishery research in each of the four countries.
Atkinson, Clinton E. A Review of Fishery Research in the Pacific Area. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.