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Fish Bulletin 161. California Marine Fish Landings For 1972 and Designated Common Names of Certain Marine Organisms of California


The protection, propagation, and wise utilization of California's living marine resources (established as common property by statute, Section 1600, Fish and Game Code) is dependent upon the welding of biological, environmental, economic, and sociological factors. Fundamental to each of these factors, as well as the entire management process, are harvest records. The California Department of Fish and Game began gathering commercial fisheries landing data in 1916. Commercial fish catches were first published in 1929 for the years 1926 and 1927. This report, the 32nd in the landing series, is for the calendar year 1972. It summarizes commercial fishing activities in marine as well as fresh waters and includes the catches of the sportfishing partyboat fleet. Preliminary landing data are published annually in the circular series which also enumerates certain fishery products produced from the catch. The 1972 figures are contained in Circular No. 47, "Statistical Report of Fresh, Canned, Cured and Manufactured Fishery Products for 1972" (Bell, 1973). California's fishery statistics are based on a system whereby fish dealers, processors, and operators of sportfishing partyboats send duplicate copies of their landing records to the Department. The system and methods used to collect commercial fishing records were fully described in Fish Bulletin 86, which reported the catch for 1950. In the intervening years, methods and equipment have been modified as conditions warranted, but the basic principles remain unchanged. Parke Young (1969) described the partyboat fishing log system in Fish Bulletin 145. ================================= Common names of the more important fishes have been designated by the California Department of Fish and Game for many years. The original purpose was to assist in collecting accurate catch statistics. For the Department to understand the State's many fisheries it is essential that the catch of each species be known. A consistent terminology on the part of both the commercial fishing industry and the sportsman is of great importance in the collection of catch records since confusion and inaccuracy result when a particular species is listed by different names in different parts of California or if a certain common name refers to any of several species. In California as elsewhere in the world, common nomenclature of marine organisms did not grow up with the language as in Europe or Asia. The people who settled here naturally named things because of similarities—either real or apparent, superficial or significant—to familiar species in their homeland. As a result when California initiated its recording system for commercial landings in 1916, the need for more uniform terminology with respect to common names became readily evident. A chaotic situation existed with a given species being identified by different names in different parts of the state, in different fisheries, or even in adjacent fish markets, and a number of species being referred to by a single name. While the present law specifically applies to commercial landings, the Department has designated common names to species taken by other than commercial fishermen in an effort to insure uniformity in State publications and records, and in an attempt to attain common usage on the part of all fishermen.

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