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Fish for Tomorrow.

Sometimes America's conservation leaders have come from fields outside of professional fisheries ranks, and that was certainly the case with John DeWitt Gilbert. Schooled in journalism and a city editor with the Astoria (Oreg.) Budget, he became associate editor of Pacific Fisherman in 1928, a move that ushered in a long and productive career in the fisheries field. Fortunately, he left a manuscript, produced over quite some time, which has now been published as "Fish for Tomorrow" by the School of Fisheries, WH-10, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, which chronicles many of the national and international advancements in marine fisheries and their management that he witnessed or participated in during his long career.

The magazine he joined, one of the leading private U.S. commercial fishery journals, had been founded in 1902 by Miller Freeman. Later, in 1943, Gilbert returned to Pacific Fisherman as editor (after about a 4-year stint as editor of Freeman's new magazine Mining World), a post he held until retiring in 1966. (Pacific Fisherman merged with National Fisherman in 1967-a year later.) Besides providing editorial leadership, Gilbert served as a member of such groups as the Industry Advisory Committee of the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission. His manuscript was drafted partly with the collaboration of Freeman, and it provides a wealth of information and insight into the negotiation and operation of a variety of important international fisheries treaties, commissions, agencies, etc., pointing out the pitfalls, errors, and successes, often from the viewpoint of an active participant.

Chapter 1, "Events and actions leading to the first treaties and commissions," reviews the plight of the Fraser River sockeye salmon during the early 1900's, the First International Sockeye Commission (and some of its problems, failures, progress and successes), and the Second International Sockeye Commission. Other treaties reviewed and discussed include the early Pacific halibut treaties, the sockeye salmon treaties of the 1930's, the U.S.-Mexican tuna treaty, and certain interstate commissions and treaties: The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission, the Oregon-Washington controversy over Columbia River fisheries in the early 1900's, and expansion of Federal authority in the 1940's and the Pacific states' response. Chapter 6 reviews the origins of abstention, Japan and its high-seas processing and refrigeration, and the early tuna fisheries. And chapter 7 reviews various post-war treaties and commissions: The Pacific Fisheries Conference, IATTC, Northwest Atlantic Treaty, INPFC and the Japan Fisheries Treaty, etc. Also of interest are Gilbert's words on the people involved-the key movers and makers" and the politics behind the treaties in the last two chapters. The volume ends with the middle 1950's, just after several important international fishery treaties had been adopted, and is an interesting chronicle of the struggle to get such treaties and laws based on scientific conservation principles.

Indexed (but without a bibliography), the manuscript of the 162-page paperbound volume was made available to the UW School of Fisheries by the Gilbert family. Copies will be mailed, as a token of appreciation, to those who contribute $20 or more to the School of Fisheries endowment accounts (make checks payable to the University of Washington). Contribution donations are placed in the School of Fisheries endowment accounts to provide scholarships and other support to students.
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Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1988
Words:545
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