A cross-sectional examination of the fisheries literature for 1978 was made to see how language use patterns were related to communicating research information. An analysis of 884 articles indicated that despite the dominance of English as an international communicative medium, there was a strong national language usage pattern. National language usage was not confined to local fisheries problems, but cut across issues of international importance. For most of the articles the language of publication was directly predictable from the first author's country of residence. However the mismatch between these variables for about six percent of the sample suggested the need for a detailed study of individual cases.