The Provident Sea describes the history of fish stock management (including whales and seals). The book traces, on the basis of the original scientific material, the history of the management of "the provident sea" up to recent times when problems of over-exploitation have had dramatic effects upon stocks. The need for management arose mainly from the increasing industrialization of capture. Hence the preindustrial fisheries are covered, in particular the old cod fishery on the Grand Bank and the herring fishery in the North Sea, as an essential background to current problems. The origins of fisheries and whaling science are described, as is the development up to 1965 of the science and institution in fisheries, whaling, and sealing. In the sixties and seventies, certain major fishing nations took a heavy harvest of fish stocks using sophisticated and efficient gathering methods. This in turn led to conflict and one consequence was the "Law of the Sea" conference set up to try and resolve these issues.