In recent years, studies of upwelling areas have evolved from a purely descriptive mode to a process-oriented study with the underlying rationale that the relationships between several simultaneous processes can explain the productivity levels of the system. Traditionally, the high fish production characteristic of upwelling areas has been seen as the immediate and direct consequence of high primary production followed by high secondary production, all generated initially by the nutrient supply brought up during the physical upwelling process. An implicit assumption is that food supply per se is the mechanism which regulates numbers of the populations utilizing this supply.

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