Marine Biology in Madras and Ceylon


    THE Administrative Report for the year 1928–29 of the Madras Fisheries Department, by Dr. B. Sundara Raj, Director of Fisheries, Madras (Report No. 1 of 1930, Madras Fisheries Bulletin, vol. 24, 1930), embraces a large variety of subjects. Part 1 describes the activities of the Department, including marine and estuarine fisheries, inland food fishes, pearl and chank fisheries, biological specimen supply, anti-malarial and socio-economic work, and fish industries. Part 2 deals with finance, Part 3 with staff and equipment, with various appendices. The importance of investigation relating to food fish is emphasised as being the primary object of a scientific department of fisheries. It is evident that here great difficulties are encountered from lack of proper accommodation and staff; nevertheless, it is shown that progress is being made. Research on marine fisheries was undertaken by the trawler Lady Gosehen, and on three shore stations at West Hill (Calicut), Krusadai Island, and Vizagapatam, the first two stations being provided with small laboratories; and at the Madras Aquarium laboratory work is being done on the early stages of the edible oyster. Survey of fishing banks and experimental trawling was carried on, including extensive cruises from Mangalore to Cape Comorin; fishes and Certain invertebrates were identified and plankton collections made. So far only the otter trawl is used for fishing. The Danish seine could not be employed, as the motor boat originally intended for the purpose was condemned as too old for the open sea. Proposals have been made to the Government for the purchase of a small motor boat, and a drift net and long lines for surface fishing are ordered.

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    Marine Biology in Madras and Ceylon. Nature 127, 254–255 (1931).

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