Ray Beverton

Raymond (Ray) John Heaphy Beverton , CBE , FRS [1] (29 August 1922 – 23 July 1995) was an important founder of fisheries science . He is best known for the book on the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations [2] (1957) which he wrote with Sidney Holt . The book is a cornerstone of modern fisheries science and remains much used today. Beverton’s life and achievements are described in several forms by prominent figures in fisheries science. [1] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Much of the foundations of quantitative fisheries science were published on the Dynamics of Fish Populations [2], which Ray Beverton and Sidney Holt wrote at the Fisheries Laboratory, Lowestoft (UK). In his review of the 1993 reprint of the book, Ray Hilborn writes “It is remarkable how the book has got the test of time and still provides a survey of the important topics in fisheries management”. [8] The book has a new reprint from 2004, with a foreword by Sidney Holt.

Beverton was also one of the first to acknowledge the variation of life histories that exists in fish, and the importance of this in fisheries management . This is the topic of the symposium Building on Beverton ‘s Legacy: Life History Variation and Fisheries Management , [9] Organized in 2003 during the 133rd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. The legacy of the 1957 Beverton and Holt treatise is commemorated in the volume Advances in Fisheries Science. 50 years on from Beverton and Holt . [10] The volume includes a foreword by Sidney Holt .

Beverton was the editor of the Council Journal , now ICES Journal of Marine Science , from 1983 to 1991. Among many other posts, he was the Deputy Director of the Fisheries Laboratory, Lowestoft. [6] Beverton remained active until his late years; he was involved in several papers published after his death, the last one nine years afterwards. [11] Beyond fisheries science, Beverton is best known for the Beverton-Holt model . In population ecology the model is used as a stand-alone discrete time population model or as a model of density dependence in larger population models. Originally the model had a more specific use; it was devised to describe the dependence of recruitment on spawning biomass stock.

Beverton Medal

The Fisheries Society of the British Isles awards each year the Beverton medal “to a distinguished scientist for a lifelong contribution to all aspects of the study of fish biology and / or fisheries science, with a focus on ground-breaking research.” [12] The history of the medal goes back to 1995 when the society decided to award a medal to an individual who had a significant contribution to fisheries biology. Ray Beverton was the first recipient, but he died shortly afterwards. The medal was then named in his honor. [13]


  1. ^ Jump up to:c Cushing, DH ; Edwards, RW (1996). “Raymond John Heaphy Beverton, CBE 29 August 1922 – 23 July 1995”. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 42 : 24. doi : 10.1098 / rsbm.1996.0003 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Beverton, RJH, and Holt, SJ 1957. On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations. Fishery Investigations Series II. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London. 533 pp.
  3. Jump up^ Cushing, D. (1995). “Ray Beverton, 1922-1995: A personal tribute”. Journal of Fish Biology . 47 (6): 929. doi : 10.1111 / j.1095-8649.1995.tb06018.x .
  4. Jump up^ [1]Pauly, D. 1996. Some Reflections on Professor Ray Beverton, FRS, 1922-1995. ICES / ICES Information, 27:16.
  5. Jump up^ Pitcher, TJ (1996). “Obituary: Raymond John Heaphy Beverton, CBE, FRS”. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences . 53 (5): 1200-1201. doi : 10.1139 / f96-145 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Ramster, John (1996). “Professor Ray Beverton 29 August 1922 – 23 July 1995”. ICES Journal of Marine Science . 53 : 1-9. doi : 10.1006 / jmsc.1996.0001 .
  7. Jump up^ Shelton, RGJ; Hawkins, AD; Holt, S. (1995). “Raymond Professor (John Heaphy) Beverton, CBE, FRS, FIBiol”. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries . 5 (4): 393. doi : 10.1007 / BF01103812 .
  8. Jump up^ Hilborn, Ray (1994). “Book Reviews: On the Dynamics of Exploited Fish Populations “. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries . 4 (2): 259-260. doi :10.1007 / BF00044132 .
  9. Jump up^ Shuter, BJ; Abrams, PA (2005). “Introducing the symposium” Building on Beverton’s Legacy: Life History Variation and Fisheries Management “”. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences . 62 (4): 725. doi :10.1139 / F05-067 .
  10. Jump up^ Payne, Andy; Cotter, John; Potter, Ted, eds. (2008). “Advances in Fisheries Science”. doi : 10.1002 / 9781444302653 . ISBN  9781444302653 .
  11. Jump up^ Beverton, RJH; Hylen, A .; Østvedt, O. -J .; Alvsvaag, J .; Islands, TC (2004). “Growth, maturation, and longevity of maturation cohorts of Norwegian spring-spawning herring”. ICES Journal of Marine Science . 61(2): 165. doi : 10.1016 / j.icesjms.2004.01.001 .
  12. Jump up^ The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. “The medals” .
  13. Jump up^ The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. “The history of the society”.

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