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[an error occurred while processing this directive] The formation of the Fisheries had a hard time passing the Congress in 1871. Here is a brief history of NMFS, "A Century of Conservation".

Original Woods Hole Lab

Forty-First Congress. Sess. III. 1871: "Whereas it is asserted that the most valuable food fishes of the coast and the lakes of the United States are rapidly diminishing in number, to the public injury, and so as materially to affect the interests of trade and commerce..."

Visit the Classics section of our publications office

Spencer Baird's Legacy Which started in Woods Hole spans over 125 years of Fisheries research.

The National Marine Fisheries Service started in 1871 here in Woods Hole. This quick history of Woods Hole and the early days of the Fisheries starts long before then when in 1602 Bartholomew Gosnold first landed here...

Brief History of marine mammal research in the northeast USA Marine mammals have been important in the northeastern United States historically both as objects of commercial harvests and in ecological interactions with commercial fisheries. There was some scientific attention given to east coast marine mammals as early as 1851

History and Contributions of the Woods Hole Fisheries Laboratory was taken from a lecture given at the Fisheries Centennial Celebration (1985) by Robert L. Edwards. It gives an overview of the historical contributions the Woods Hole fisheries lab made to the formation of fisheries science and the beginnings of the scientific community in Woods Hole.

Historical Development of Fisheries science was taken from a lecture given at the Fisheries Centennial Celebration (1985) by William F. Royce and is his review of the development of fishery science and management.

Groundfishing, the catching of fishes that swim in close proximity to the bottom, was the first colonial industry in America. Now we are faced with unprecedented low stocks of groundfish species, and an industry shrinking in regional importance. This Brief history of groundfishing in New England is intended to look back to the beginnings of the 20th century, and to follow the development of groundfishing to the current times.

Smithsonain's National Museum of Natural History articles on Spencer Baird The year 2000 marks the 150th anniversary of ichthyology at the Smithsonian Institution. In 1850, a young naturalist named Spencer F. Baird arrived at the Smithsonian to take up his duties as the new Assistant Secretary. Over the next 37 years, while occupying the posts of Assistant Secretary and then Secretary of the Smithsonian, Director of the United States National Museum, and Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, Baird, among his many other accomplishments, oversaw the establishment and development of ichthyology as a vital component of the institution's scientific mission.

This 1948 report, by William F. Royce, describes in lay language the first year of operation of the ALBATROSS III

NOAA Fisheries 1996 125th Anniversary Page (No longer maintained)

More Baird related sites

Other Fisheries Historical Documents (From NOAA and other sites)

Online version of the 1953 edition of Bigelow and Schroeder's "Fishes of the Gulf of Maine"

Report upon the Invertebrate Animals of Vineyard Sound and the Adjacent Waters, with an Account of the Physical Characters of the Region," Report of United States Commissioner of Fisheries 1874

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(File Modified Jun. 16 2011)