Contributions of Estuarine Habitats To Major Fisheries

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory


Ocean Science and Engineering


Estuaries provide unique habitat conditions that are essential to the production of major fisheries throughout the world, but quantitatively demonstrating the value of these habitats to fisheries presents some difficult problems. The questions are important, because critical habitats in estuaries are threatened worldwide by development of the coastal zone, climate change, and pollution, among other stressors. This chapter begins by introducing estuarine fisheries, their importance, and the reasons for their prominence. Next we discuss the challenges of quantification, followed by three case studies of relationships between fisheries production and habitat structure and function. We propose that holistic, integrated approaches to research, modeling, and monitoring can lead to solutions beneficial to our understanding, to better management of coastal habitats, and to the sustainability of fisheries. © 2012 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Estuaries: Classification, Ecology and Human Impacts

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Last Page