Page images

sources of fishmeal for chicken production and thus conserve foreign exchange. Examples are provided by Colombia, Venezuela, India, Pakistan, etc. Fish protein concentrate

Lastly, a considerable amount of research is now going on respecting the use of fishmeal as fish protein concentrate directly in the human diet. The great promises that this holds include the following:

(1) Fish proteins contain all the amino acids required by the human body in proportions well adjusted to keeping the body in vigorous health. Vitamins, calcium, trace minerals, polyunsaturated animal oils, etc., contained in the fish are plus dietary factors as well.

(2) The proteins of all fish are substantially the same. Thus a fully dehydrated and defatted product, made of a considerable variety of “ocean run” fish mixed together, is as valuable nutritionally as that made from selected high-priced fish.

(3) Fish proteins can be dehydrated cheaply and the proteins not damaged in the process if reasonable care is used.

(4) Dehydrated fish proteins can be packaged economically so that they can be shipped and stored for long periods of time cheaply and in a stable form.

Considerable technical problems are still to be solved before ch fish protein concentrate can begin providing a considerable contribution to the world human diet, directly. Among these are:

(1) Present fishmeal plants, practically speaking, cannot be adapted to producing fish protein concentrate under conditions of acceptable hygiene for direct human food. New processes and plants require to be developed and built. Experimental work along these lines is proceeding.

(2) The polyunsaturated nature of fish oils, which make them unique and particularly valuable in certain usages, are costly to remove in their entirety from the sorts of fish most usable for fish protein concentrate production and, if left in the fishmeal, can become rancid. Methods have to be developed further for removing the oil cheaply, safely, and satisfactorily, or for stabilizing it so that it does not oxidize to an objectionable extent. Work along both lines is being conducted.

(3) Chickens like fishmeal and accept it readily. Fishmeal which is roughly refined and of a taste not readily acceptable by many humans is providing a very large and rapidly growing world market as supplementary food for chickens, pigs, and cattle whereas the market (as contrasted to the need) for highly refined fish protein concentrate manufactured to hygienic standards suitable for human food is, as yet, nominal. In turn humans, as a whole, will accept chickens in their diet more readily than they will accept fish protein concentrate. Accordingly industry manufactures the product having best acceptance, lowest cost of production, and highest profit margin. That is fishmeal for chickens.

Much scientific and technological research, as well as engineering and market promotion study, is presently going into the resolution of the problems concerning fish protein concentrate for direct human consumption and none of them at this juncture appear to be incapable of solution. Conservation and fishery disputes

The decade of the 1950's was particularly rife with disputes among nations over fishery jurisdiction growing, assertedly, out of possible conservation problems in the high seas but actually, for the most part, out of economic and political considerations. This led to the two United Nations Conferences on the Law of the Sea in Geneva in 1958 and 1960.

With the rapidly continuing proliferation of high seas fisheries in the 1960's more actual conservation problems can be expected to arise now and in the near future. These arise in selected places for selected species. The worst and oldest have been associated with the whale fisheries of the Antarctic particularly, the salmon and halibut fisheries of the North Pacific, the plaice fishery of the North Sea, and now in the last few years with the yellowfin tuna fisheries of the Eastern Pacific and the long line tuna fisheries of the world (but particularly that for yellowfin in the Atlantic).

As noted above, the entire production of all whales, salmon and salmon-like fish, flat fish, and tunas in 1962 amounted only to 6.54 million tons or less than 14 percent of aquatic production in that year. Probably less than a tenth of the total available stocks of all such fishes, as a whole, are affected by any such overfishing problems, or perhaps the stocks of fish presently producing less than 1 percent of aquatic food on a worldwide basis and unlikely to be producing half

that percentage 10 years from now even if perfectly managed by the best conservation standards.

The case of the Pacific salmons, from whence arise most acrimonious disputes among nations over fishing rights (and have done for 25 years), is particularly curious.

The total production of Pacific salmons would be not much more than a quarter of a million tons per year if they were perfectly managed by the disputing countries, which is not the case with any and has not been for many years. This is about one-half of 1 percent of the present world production of aquatic food, and not likely to be more than a quarter of a percent of world fish production 10 years from now no matter how these disputes are settled. A high proportion of the governmental funds which Canada and the United States devote to fishery purposes is spent attending to Pacific salmon (hatcheries, fish ladders, stream improvements, patrol and enforcement costs, research, political, and diplomatic activities, etc.), and the situation is not much different in Russia and Japan.

Considering the great stakes all four of these disputing countries (Russia, Japan, Canada, and the United States) have in access to the abundant resources of the open high seas, and the jeopardy in which their salmon disputes is putting this access, an outsider might properly wonder if the four countries could be as well off in the long run to simply write off these disputatious fisheries and concentrate on developing the more productive fisheries off their coasts and elsewhere in the world ocean. The world diet of man, or the diet of these particular countries, would scarcely be affected.

Yet man, in whatever race or country, is not entirely rational or temperate. The tiny bird in the hand is often more entrancing than the great flock in the barnyard. The forest sometimes cannot be seen because the tree is in the way. Accordingly, such disputes go on, and they will continue to increase unless governments decide to abide by the undertakings they pledged in the 1958 “Convention on Fishing and the Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas.".

Whether they do or do not, it is likely that the production of animal protein from the sea will continue to grow until man's need for it is sated, for there is plenty in the ocean for all for the foreseeable future.

If one corner of the ocean pasture is closed off, it will more than likely only divert fishing pressure to another less-used corner.

For several years the Japanese have been abstaining from the taking of salmon east of 175° west longitude, pursuant to the provisions of the International Convention establishing the International Commission for the North Pacific Fisheries. In the meantime, the Japanese and Russians have developed fisheries for ocean perch, flat fish, Atka mackerel, et cetera, off the coast of Alaska 10 times more productive than the whole American and Canadian salmon fisheries put together.

In doing so they have uncovered other large ocean fish resources in the area which they are pushing on to harvest.


Most of the information set forth above was not available 20 years ago and much of it was unknown 10 years ago. You may have noted that in its preparation no publication older than 1959 and few older than 1963 have been cited, whereas most citations have been from papers published in 1964, or still in press, or in manuscript stage.

This was neither contrived nor accidental. It just happens that more knowledge and understanding of the ocean has been accumulated in the last few years than in the previous history of mankind.

But it was as recently as 1957–58 that the big boost in ocean research and ocean fishery development began. Then with the Internati al Geophysical Year man, for the first time, attempted to look at his planet in one glance with all his scientific tools and powers. This IGY was organized by a group of scientists, not governments, through their international professional organization, the International Council of Scientific Unions.

At the same time four other events of consequence to ocean production were taking place. U.S.S.R. was putting afoot the first concentrated application by any nation of modern science and technology to the purpose of harvesting the world ocean. It still is the only country that is doing so on a large scale and its fish catch this year will go beyond 5 million tons (that of the United States will remain comfortably in the neighborhood of 3 million where it has been for 25 years.

Secondly, the National Academy of Sciences of the United States appointed another of its committees on oceanography (NASCO). This one however did its work so dynamically that,

(a) In the course of a few years the Government had appointed an Interagency Committee on Oceanography (ICO) to attempt to correlate the activities of the 22 agencies and bureaus that deal with ocean research in the U.S. Government,

(6) A thing actually known as a national oceanographic program had emerged, and

(c) The budget for the national oceanographic program had about quadrupled to a level of $124 million by 1963.

There have been great stirrings in ocean research in the United States during these brief years with the construction of new research ships and laboratories being authorized and funded, the training of scientists being subsidized, and exploratory cruises and research initiated in all seas. This was not done to the level in fishery oceanography and development that was being done in Russia, but still it was on a pretty good scale considering past U.S. ocean research history.

Thirdly, ICSU appointed its Special Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and it was no accident that the guiding spirits of it were the same as those of NASCO. This remarkable body rather quickly did two things :

(a) Organized, initiated and got funded the 22-nation International Indian Ocean Expedition which (with something between $40 and $60 million) was the largest, most diverse and extensive, and well funded investigation that had ever been; and

(6) Succeeded in getting established the Office of Oceanography and the International Oceanographic Commission in UNESCO.

The latter organization (first meeting in 1961) took over the coordination of the International Indian Ocean Expedition, sponsored the 11-nation International Cooperative Investigation of the Tropical Atlantic (the field stages of which have been completed), and is presently sponsoring the Cooperative Survey of the Kuroshio as well as several other notable activities in international research.

Fourthly, in 1958 the Special Fund of the United Nations came into being. Its function was to aid nations in planning and executing predevelopment surveys for industrialization through multiyear projects requiring a minimum of $250,000 of outside money (provided by the Special Fund). It initiated the Peru Fishery Project, then the Ecuador Project, the Chile Fishery Project, the India Fishery Project, the Nigeria Project, the Philippine Project, the Korea Project and the Aden Project. In the immediate future are the Ghana, Central-America, Argentine, East Pakistan, and Lake Victoria Fishery projects. By this means millions in new money are being pumped into ocean research and fishery development each year. The results are already becoming ponderable.

These last two developments also helped awaken interest in ocean research and fishery development in national fisheries agencies and in FAO of such consequence that it looks presently as if the FAO fishery unit is be reinvigorated and restimulated to do adeguately the task for which it was originally designed.

All of these activities have produced much new knowledge and understanding of the ocean and its resources. All are still increasing in size and competence except that in the United States. Here the budget for the national oceanographic program has stabilized at about $124 million for the past 3 years, and for this reason the program is beginning to stagnate and get into trouble. Research vessels already authorized and funded are coming off the ways and there is insufficient money with which to operate them efficiently. Splendid new laboratories previously funded are coming into commission but there is insufficient money with which to operate them effectively. Scientists are coming out of universities, but there is a Federal freeze on hiring new men. Accordingly, the skilled manpower with which to analyze the data being acquired rapidly are not being hired. In consequence the national oceanographic program is beginning to jam up pretty badly in the United States.

In view of the fact that we are spending $5 billion per year on space research and exploration for which no one can express a clear utilitarian reason other than keeping up with the Russians, one might think that the Congress might begin some embarrassing inquiries into executive thought on the subject of ocean research. However, the 22 agencies and bureaus of the U.S. Gov. ernment that engage in ocean research report to 35 committees of Congress, none of which has an ocean scientist on its staff (Wakelin, 1964). Thus it becomes a little hard to find where responsibility rests for the national oceanographic program in either the legislative or the executive branch of the U.S. Government.

Presumably as long as the Russians and others keep up their ocean research and continue to publish it, we can to this extent find out whatever they are learning about the ocean which they do not consider to be sufficiently important to classify.

Accordingly a report of this nature written 10 years from now will certainly be based upon much more information about the ocean and its resources than this one has been able to draw upon. If new understanding and knowledge flows in during the next decade as rapidly as it has during the past one, we should have a much better grasp of the kinds and volumes of resources in the ocean and how they may be extracted for mans' use.


Thus we have had a look at the resources of the ocean and the potentials they hold for man. It has been a too brief look. Many rather important aspects have not been noted at all. A report of this nature written 10 years from now will certainly be much different than this one is. The present report can be summed up as follows:

1. Energy is enormously abundant in the ocean. Competition from other: cheaper sources of energy (nuclear fission and fossil fuels) makes it unlikely that ocean energy will be harnessed practically for man's direct use in the foreseeable future, or at least until the derivation of electrical energy from atomic fusion becomes practicable.

2. There is more fresh water in the ocean than man can use if he can learn to separate it from the salts and living matter it contains and transport it to where he wants it at a price he can afford to pay. Multiple stage flash distillation processes already are providing 20 million gallons per day of fresh water in certain areas and that method plus other methods of salt water conversion are sufficiently advanced in science and technology so that the cost of fresh water from such sources is becoming economic under a good many other situations in the world. It is likely that the next few years will see nuclear power and salt water conversion plants coupled together in certain localities in units capable of producing 1 to 2 billion gallons per day per unit.

There is reason to think that relatively modest expenditures in ocean research and meteorology might, in time, develop practical methods of weather control suitable for the transport of water from the ocean through the atmosphere to where it is needed, utilizing available planetary energy.

(3) Substantially speaking, all of the metallic elements, and many others, are available dissolved in the ocean in greater volumes than man needs. There does not seem to be much chance that any substantial increase will be made in the variety of dissolved substances recovered from the ocean in the near future because the same elements can be had from other sources cheaper than they can be separated from the water of the ocean.

(4) The production of minerals from the subsoil of the Continental Shelf is increasing sharply both as to variety and volume. There is every reason to expect that this will continue to be the case as new technologies for extraction in this environment become familiar and particularly as the techniques for man to live and work in water depths up to 100 fathoms become perfected and customary. All of this is proceeding apace now. Aside from minerals of continental origin, phosphate (and some other) deposits of oceanic origin will be added to this store of utilizable continental resources.

(5) Vast deposits of metal ores of oceanic origin most useful to man are available lying on the deep sea bed in profusion greater than man can ever use. They include manganese, nickel, cobalt, zinc, vanadium, copper, molybdenum, iron, aluminum, and several other elements.

In some instances these deposits are probably growing more rapidly than man is presently using the metal. There appears to be a good likelihood that one of these most abundant deposits, manganese nodules, will begin to be worked on a substantial scale in the next few years and that, as a result, manganese, nickel, cobalt, and perhaps even copper will become cheaper to produce from the deep seabed than from land deposits.

(6) The ocean is, for practical present purposes, a limitless source of animal protein highly suitable for the human diet when viewed on a total rather than specific basis. It is presently producing about 2 billion tons of fish and shellfish. per year of sizes practical for man to use. This is well more than the amount of animal protein required to keep a human population 10 times the present size in vigorous health, but most of it is dying unused by men and returning to the web of life in the ocean.

Man is presently utilizing about 50 million tons of fish from the ocean per year. The production of the sea fisheries has been growing by about 8 percent per year for the past few years or more than three times as fast as the human population. Production is increasing particularly rapidly in tropical and subtropical seas where large presently unused, or little used, resources are known to exist. The Southern (ocean) Hemisphere is little fished, yet, and very large resources are known to exist in several parts of it. Even in areas of the northern ocean that have been long and intensively fished great latent resources are known to exist. Examples are provided by the pilchard and mackerel of the North Sea, the capelin of the Arctic, the anchovy, hake, and mackerel of California, etc., etc.

Much research is going on respecting ocean food production, processing and distribution. The process of eradicating protein malnutrition from the world could be much speeded up if a small part of the funds now devoted to space exploration by the United States and Russia were diverted to these mundane objectives. Nevertheless, much progress is being made, and much more can be expected in the near future.

(7) The major aspects of the law of the sea have been codified and developed in four conventions arising from the 1958 Law of the Sea Conference. Three of these are in force, and the fourth is likely to come into force next year. If man were a fully reasonable, moderately unselfish, politically mature, and moderately myopic animal, these four conventions would provide an adequate framework of international behavior under which he could peacefully and profitably harvest these enormous resources of the sea. Under existing circumstances one can reasonably anticipate increasing disputes among nations over these matters, and the field of the law of the sea would appear to hold a splendid future for bright young men aspiring to a professional career.

(8) The United States at last has a national oceanographic program. This is presently beginning to stagnate while we explore outer space, but it will come to life again in the future. In the meantime, we are learning much about the ocean from the research activities of other nations, particularly Russia.


Anonymous. 1960. Ocean Sciences and National Security. Report of Com

mittee on Science and Astronautics, U.S. House of Representatives, 86th

Cong. 2d sess. House Report No. 2078, p. 180. Abelson, P. H. 1964. Conventional Versus Nuclear Power, Science, November

6, 1964, vol. 146, No. 3645, p. 721. Brown, Gov. Edmund G. 1964. California and the World Ocean. Conference

on California and the World Ocean, held at Museum of Science and In

dustry, Los Angeles, Calif., Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 1964, pp. 5–8. Chapman, W. M. 1964. Ocean Science and Human Protein Malnutrition Prob

lems in Middle Africa. Conference on Ecology and Economic Development in Africa, Institute of International Affairs, University of California,

Berkeley, June 1964, p. 35. Costeau, Jaques-Yves. 1964. Conference on California and the World Ocean,

held at Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 1964,

pp. 81-84.

Kesteven, G. L. 1962. “World Aquatic Biomass-Its Future Abundance." In

Fish in Nutrition, edited by E. Heen and R. Kreuzer, Fishing News (Books)

Ltd., London, pp. 9–22. King, C. G. 1965. International Nutrition Programs, Science, Jan. 1, 1965, vol.

147, No. 3653, pp. 25–29. McDougal, M. s., and W. T. Burke. 1962. "The Public Order of the Ocean."

Yale University Press, page 1226. McIlhenny, W. P., and D. A. Ballard. 1963. "The Sea as a Source of Dissolved

Chemicals.” Symposium on Economic Importance of Chemicals from the Sea. American Chemical Society, Apr. 2-3, 1963, Los Angeles, Calif., pp.

122–129. Mero, J. L. 1959. A preliminary report on the economics of mining and proc

essing deep sea manganese nodules. Inst. Mar. Res., University of Calie fornia, January 1959, p. 96.

« PreviousContinue »