Inland waters have received only slight consideration in recent discussions of the global fisheries crisis, even though inland fisheries provide much-needed protein, jobs, and income, especially in poor rural communities of developing countries. Systematic overfishing of fresh waters is largely unrecognized because of weak reporting and because fishery declines take place within a complex of other pressures. Moreover, the ecosystem consequences of changes to the species, size, and trophic composition of fish assemblages are poorly understood. These complexities underlie the paradox that overexploitation of a fishery may not be marked by declines in total yield, even when individual species and long-term sustainability are highly threatened. Indeed, one of the symptoms of intense fishing in inland waters is the collapse of particular stocks even as overall fish production rises - a biodiversity crisis more than a fisheries crisis. 2005 American Institute of Biological Sciences.