The Resources of the Ocean

  • David A. Ross


Resources can be of two basic types: those, such as food, that are renewable because they can be replaced by the growth of plants and animals, and those, such as most mineral resources, including coal and oil, that are depletable and so are nonrenewable because there is a fixed supply. Both renewable and nonrenewable resources are present in large quantities in the ocean and there is considerable enthusiasm among the countries of the world to obtain them. With regard to the biologic or renewable resources, some feel that the present fish catch from the sea may already be dangerously close to exceeding the maximum sustainable yield of this resource. Little, however, is really known about the distribution of fish and other organisms in the ocean and how they can be best managed. A new approach, aquaculture, will allow some fishery products to be harvested similarly to crops on land, thus changing the fisherman from a hunter to a farmer with a substantial increase in efficiency. Other potential resources, such as energy from the ocean, are discussed in Chapter 9.


Continental Margin Ocean Floor Drill String Maximum Sustainable Yield Manganese Nodule 
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© David A. Ross 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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