Aquatic ecosystems and resources are of critical important to the human population. To better utilize these resources there must be more emphasis on obtaining basic information, providing intelligent advice, and promoting cooperative efforts to preserve the available genetic resources for posterity. At the international level there must be direct mechanisms for the resolution of biologically important problems and conflicts, particularly regarding the exploitation of fish species. At present there is little opportunity for such clearly needed research as, for example, identification of sub-species components of resources shared between two or more nations. We propose the development of regional research centres where a corps of experienced researchers could act in both applied and tutorial roles. The fellowships, secondments and training opportunities could provide adequate manpower to operate a research facility on a seasonal basis. The proposed programme must include a centralized and/or regional centre for:
Archiving species, sub-species, genetic and simple meristic data; general life history, habitat and physiological data.
Information dissemination service:
List of experts to respond to enquiries about genetical, biological and ecological implications of genetic preservation and options.
Service: Catalogue of species for introduction; their sources; ecological limitations; and as transport mechanism which “records” introductions as well as facilitating later evaluation of the general impacts of the introductions.