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THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE SEA

absolutely committing himself to neither, has a good

word to say for both. Nevertheless, this attempt to FISHING INDUSTRY.'

steer a sort of middle course among the different “THE methods, employed in the capture and trans- opinions leads to no very definite results. The latest

port of fish, the great combinations of capital, Sea Fisheries Bill he appears to regard as a measure the trade organisations, the disputes between the trade which might do some good, and cannot, in view of its and the railway companies, local upheavals, like those elastic and unbinding character, do much harm; it of Newlyn and Grimsby, which temporarily paralysed has, in fact, its good points. International scientific the industry, the efforts of science to unveil the secrets investigation is strongly advocated, " although of the sea, and of Parliament first to encourage such effectual investigation of the vast bed of the North Sea investigation and then to act upon its results; these is out of the question,” and “however faulty the have in turn been briefly dealt with. Lastly, we Christiania programme may be when analysed on a visited most of the important fishing ports.” Such in purely economic basis." the author's words is an outline of the plan of this The continued participation of Britain in the interbook.

national investigations is recommended for the folHistorically the work is of interest as being the first lowing reasons :-“ As a piece of scientific work on an popular and general account of the sea-fishing in- elaborate scale, the North Sea scheme is not unworthy dustry which has appeared since Holdsworth's “Deep- of a century which opened with the discovery of

radium and the n-rays. Sea Fishing," an admirable treatise of similar scope

As a measure of high politics published thirty years ago. A good idea of the rapid it is at least equal to the Anglo-French Agreement progress of the industry in the interval may be gathered of which so much more has been heard." Irom a comparison of the two. Curiously enough, Apart from purely diplomatic considerations, such Holdsworth doubted the probability of any extensive adoption of either steam power or the otter trawl in relation to commercial fishing. Contrary to this forecast these very two factors, together with ice and railway facilities, have effected nothing short of a revolution in the industry. It is possible that the next decade or so may also have surprises in store as the result of trade enterprise on the one hand and scientific investigation on the other.

Mr. Afalo wisely refrains from pronouncing any strong opinions as to future developments.

After a short sketch on “Life in the Sea," in which the chief of the facts known about the life-histories of the edible fishes are mentioned, the author proceeds to describe the various processes involved in the capture and distribution of fish. These subjects receive adequate if not exhaustive treatment, and are made as interesting as possible by Mr. Aflalo's well-known popular style of writing. Then follow two important chapters on legislation and scientific investigation.

Fig. 1.-The Huxley, specially commissioned to carry out fishery investigations.

From Afalo's "Sea-fishing Industry of England and Wales." The final section consists of interesting notes on the different kinds of fishing practised at each as the above, the flat-fish problem, which is understood important station along the coast, the condition of the harbours (usually defective), railway facilities, local

to be receiving special attention at the hands of the

international experts, is surely very largely an intermodifications of the share system of wage-payment, national one, if only on account of the well-ascertained and the general prosperity, or otherwise, of the port in fact that by far the most important nurseries of the question. The contrasts in some cases are very plaice are on the Continental side. One awaits with striking, as, for example, between the mushroom-like interest the full details of these researches, especially development of steam-trawling in the hands of syndi- of certain experiments on the marking of plaice, as a cates, as at Grimsby, and the moderate but steady result of which it has been stated in a short report prosperity associated with private enterprise at a recently issued by the council of the Marine Biological typical smack-trawling port like Brixham. The Association) that the species performs seasonal migraformer may be safely described as the busiest and least tions of considerable extent and definite direction, and picturesque port in the kingdom, while Brixham, further that 20 per cent. of the English marked plaice which three-quarters of a century ago supplied the have been recovered and returned by the fishermen pioneers of the North Sea fishery, and still breeds a within a year. The latter result indicates an intensity notably hardy and resourceful type of man, remains of fishing such as may conceivably affect the supply of attractive in the old-fashioned way.

this fish. Still more interesting economic possibilities In dealing with such controversial matters as legis- --standing, perhaps, in relation to the last as the antilation and scientific investigation, Mr. Aflalo repre- dote to the evil--are suggested by some reports recently sents the two sides of a question with some skill, and, circulated in the newspapers. These speak of the

"The Sea-fishing Industry of England and Wales. A Popular Account phenomenal growth of small plaice liberated on the of the Sea Fisheries and Fishing Ports of Those Countries.” By F. G. Adalo, Dogger Bank, to which they had been transplanted F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. With a sea-fisheries map and numerous photographs by the author and others. Pp. xx + 386. (London : Edward Stanford, 1904.) gations such as these bear directly on questions of

from certain crowded inshore “nurseries.” Învestisupply, and are evidently inspired by a determination not too much to say that a very serious addition has to give something like concrete value for public money. been made to the labour of determining the quantity

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While awaiting the verdicts of science and the sought-the solar parallax-by this revelation. deliberations of legislators, it is useful to have to hand It is disappointing to find no satisfactory suggesa work such as this, which gives a concise statement tion of the cause of error in the paper which gives an and accurate picture of the present condition of the account of it. A suggestion is indeed made, viz. that great sea-fishing industry.

in measuring a plate the presence of an adjacent image The book is abundantly supplied with interesting (for the exposure is repeated on the same plate so as photographs. There is also a sea-fisheries map, in to show all the images more than once) may disturb which, however, is one glaring defect. From this the eye of the measurer. All our experience hitherto map it would appear that Yarmouth and Lowestoft is against such a possibility. It seems more likely to are given over entirely to the drift-net fishing, and the writer that the cause may be sought in the object that neither of these places has any connection by rail glass of the photographic telescope, and, to be more with the metropolis. This is inconsistent with what precise, in an error of centreing of the crown lens reis stated in the text, and is opposed to common latively to the flint. Such an error is well known to knowledge.

opticians, and is easily detected in a visual telescope by the fringe of colour on one side of a star image

when slightly out of focus. But the images formed THE ELEVENTH EROS CIRCULAR." by a photographic telescope are not examined by the THE appearance of this volume brings us definitely eye in the regular course of work, and such an error

face to face with a new situation in the derivation might therefore escape detection until revealed by such of accurate positions of the heavenly bodies from photo

a comparison of measures as is given above. The graphs. It will be remembered that in the winter of stray light on one side of the image would not be 1900-1 the recently discovered small planet Eros made strong enough to affect the sensitive film in the case a very near approach to the earth, and a large number of faint stars, but for a bright star it would spread the of photographs were taken with the view of determin- image in that direction, and so introduce a spurious ing the distance of the planet, from a knowledge of displacement of the centre. If this explanation be which that of the sun, and the dimensions of the solar correct, the error can be both detected and eliminated system generally, could be inferred with (it was hoped) by turning the object glass through 180° (with most considerably improved accuracy. The measurement of forms of telescope mounting it is only necessary to the plates involves enormous labour, and has only been

turn the telescope to the other side of the pier), and this partially accomplished in the intervening four years;

can easily be done. Indeed, it ought to have been done and the discussion of the measures has necessarily pro

before now, under the admirable maxim for physical ceeded even more slowly. But the present publication work, “ reverse everything that can be reversed," but, of more than 400 quarto pages represents a notable

so far as is known to the writer, the point has hitherto addition to the tabular statement of measures, and escaped notice. contains an important contribution to the discussion.

If on examination this explanation will not fit the It appears that the plates taken at different observ. facts, some other must be found. A few additional atories are liable to disagreement in a serious manner.

details in the volume before us would have made it Putting aside the planet itself for a moment, when the possible to test this hypothesis; if, for instance, it had positions of the stars found from plates taken at the

been specified which plates were taken on one side of Algiers Observatory are compared with those found

the pier and which on the other, a comparison of the from plates taken at Paris, there is a difference vary

two sets would have given very definite information. ing with the brightness of the individual stars. Such

Mr. Hinks has already given cogent reasons (see a difference is not altogether new in astronomy; it was

Observatory for September, 1903) for regretting the pointed out by Sir David Gill a dozen years ago or

lack of information as to the identity of the individual more that eye observations of stellar positions made plates, and we have now to add this further reason. by different observers were likely to differ system

For the systematic difference described is not confined atically in this manner; but this was attributed to

to Algiers-Paris. If we turn to the paper following human defects in the observer, and it was hoped that

that in which M. Trépied gives the figures above photography would free us from the embarrassment.

quoted and arrange the differences found at the GoodSo it probably will when rightly used; but we have

sell Observatory (Carleton College, Minnesota) accordapparently not yet completely realised the necessary ing to stellar magnitude, we find a well marked effect precautions. The instruments for taking the photo in R.A. and a smaller one in dec.; and probably other graphs at Algiers and at Paris are as precisely similar

cases, when duly examined, will give similar results, as the constructor could make them; they were used though it does not seem to have occurred to astroin the same way; the plates were measured similarly For instance, at the end of the volume N. Lawy

nomers generally to make a properly searching inquiry. and with careful attention to certain known sources of error, and yet the resulting star places show the

tabulates a series of differences between two lists of following differences in seconds of arc in the mean of

star places prepared with great care by himself and 5 groups of 87 stars each :

by Prof. Tucker, of the Lick Observatory, and he comDifference

ments with satisfaction on the close accordance of the magnitude

two lists. But a very slight examination suffices to 8.8

-027 show that the differences are affected with " magni. 9:4

-0'42 tude-equation,” though in this instance the effect may 104

--0-57

be due to the visual observations. -0 72

In fact, while duly admiring the energy and diliII.6

-0.83

gence with which this vast mass of material has been There is a range of more than half a second, and collected and published, a result due in great part to we want to measure the hundredth of a second! This the powers of organisation of M. Lawy, the director is probably an exceptional case; but what may occur of the Paris Observatory, we may well feel some doubts once may occur again, and in view of this fact it is whether it will turn out to be, as he hopes, a "collec

1 Conference astrophotographique internationale de Juillet, 1900. Cir. tion of homogeneous material, susceptible of being ulaire No. 11. (Paris : Gauthier Villars, 1904.)

immediately used without the necessity of undertaking,

Mean

II'2

as in the past, long and tedious preliminary investi- Prof. Boyce, of Liverpool University, has proposed to gations” (p. 3). Homogeneity for such a purpose the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce a scheme for the cannot be secured by mere similarity in publication of establishment of a commercial museum and bureau of results; indeed, this very process tends to cover up scientific information. The object is to correlate the various vital differences of detail, and it is to be feared that,

scientific forces in the city in order to utilise them for comunless these can be unearthed again, the work will

mercial advantage.

The scheme has been referred to a suffer in accuracy.

committee of the Chamber of Commerce. There is an appendix at the end of the volume pro fessing to give a bibliography of the already large literature on the Eros campaign, but containing no On the invitation of the director, Dr. J. J. Dobbie, F.R.S., reference to the Monthly Notices or other English and Mrs. Dobbie, a large and representative gathering work. Is not this rather a strange oversight? assembled in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, on

H. H. TURNER.

Monday evening, December 12, to celebrate the jubilee of the museum. The museum embraces three departments

natural history, art and ethnography, and technology, under NOTES.

their respective keepers, Dr. Traquair, F.R.S., Mr. D. J.

Vallance, and Dr. Alex. Galt. In the natural history deBRITISH science has been honoured by the award of the

partment the collection of fossil fish is one of the most Nobel prize for physics to Lord Rayleigh, and the prize for

important in the world. Other special features of this chemistry to Sir William Ramsay, K.C.B., F.R.S. Prof.

department are the hall of British zoology and the zooPavloff, of the Military Academy of Medicine at St. Peters

logical type collection, the aim of the latter being to illusburg, has been awarded the prize for physiology. The

trate the bearing of comparative anatomy on the classifidistribution of the prizes took place at Stockholm on

cation of the animal kingdom. The ethnographical collecDecember 10 in the presence of King Oscar and the Royal

tion is one of the most extensive of its kind, and contains Family, foreign ministers and members of the Cabinet, and

many specimens brought home by explorers of the end of many leading representatives of science, art, and literature.

the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth centuries. After speeches had been delivered by the vice-president and

The technological department contains a large and fine other representatives of the Nobel committee, and of the

collection of machine and engineering models, most of Academies of Science, Medicine, and Literature, King them made in the museum workshops, together with Oscar personally presented Lord Rayleigh, Sir William

mining and metallurgical specimens and models. There is Ramsay, and Prof. Pavloff with their prizes, together with

also a large collection of economic botany attached to this diplomas and gold medals. The sum of money attaching department. The collections of H.M. Geological Survey to each prize amounts to about 78251. The distribution of of Scotland are housed in the museum, and with these is the prizes was followed by a banquet, at which the Crown

associated the Heddle-Dudgeon collection of Scottish Prince presided : and among the company were Prince and minerals, which has been described as the finest collection Princess Charles, Lord and Lady Rayleigh, Sir William

of the minerals of any one country in existence. The and Lady Ramsay, and M. and Mme. Pavloff. Count

museum is supported by a Parliamentary grant, and is Mörner proposed the health of Prof. Pavloff, Prof.

under the Scotch Education Department, which was reprePetterson that of Sir William Ramsay, and Prof. Hasselberg that of Lord Rayleigh.

sented at the conversazione by Sir Henry Craik, K.C.B., On Monday Sir William

and Mr. Macdonald, assistant secretary. Ramsay delivered a lecture on argon and helium at the Academy of Sciences, and King Oscar gave a dinner party to the prize winners. On Tuesday Lord Rayleigh delivered

A MEETING was held in the geological lecture theatre of a lecture at the academy on the density of gases. Both

the Owens College, Manchester, on December 8, at which lectures were highly appreciated and greatly applauded. logists' Association. The object of the association is to

it was resolved to establish a Manchester University GeoIt is announced that Lord Rayleigh proposes to present to

afford a centre of social reunion for the discussion of geoCambridge University the value of the Nobel prize for physics awarded to him.

logical subjects. Prof. Boyd Dawkins was elected presi

dent, Mr. B. Hobson and Mr. Winstanley vice-presidents, Sir Norman LOCKYER, K.C.B., F.R.S., has been elected Mr. W. J. Hall secretary, and Mr. O. B. Leigh treasurer. a corresponding member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg.

A SHORT time ago Dr. Doyen claimed to have discovered The Lavoisier gold medal, which has been awarded by curative serum for the disease. A committee was appointed

the microbe of cancer, and to have prepared with it a the French Academy of Sciences to Sir James Dewar,

to investigate Dr. Doyen's claims (see NATURE, October 27, F.R.S., for his researches on the liquefaction of gases, was

p. 631), and, according to the daily Press, has now reported founded in 1900, to be given, without distinction of nationality, at such times as the French Academy should elect graphs, however (December 14), that the committee has not

favourably on them. The Standard's correspondent telein recognition of eminent services rendered to chemistry by scientific men. The present is the first occasion on which

yet arrived at any conclusion. the medal has been awarded to a British man of science.

On the recent retirement of Sir William Macgregor from THE Wislicenus memorial lecture will be delivered before the Governorship of Lagos, the Liverpool School of Tropical the Chemical Society by Prof. W. H. Perkin, F.R.S., on

Medicine decided to mark its appreciation of his valuWednesday, January 25, at 8.30 p.m.

able services to the cause of health and sanitation by raising

a fund, to which Sir Alfred Jones contributed 500l. and Mr. A. Silva White, formerly secretary to the Royal Mr. John Holt 200l. It has been decided to expend this Scottish Geographical Society, and editor of the Scottish fund on two medical expeditions to the west coast of Africa, Geographical Magasine, has been appointed assistant one in charge of Prof. Boyce, who, with Dr. A. Evans secretary of the British Association, and has already taken and Dr. H. H. Clarke, sailed from the Mersey on Wednesup the duties of the post.

day, the other under Colonel Giles. These expeditions will study the various health problems presented by the districts Indian rhinoceros to the museum, which has been set up. they visit, the distribution of biting insects, and related and is exhibited. The “ Zoo " specimen will therefore not matters.

find a home in the national collection. A DEMONSTRATION of the Pollak-Virag high-speed writing

The December number of the Century Magazine contains telegraph was given on December 9 at the Carlton Hotel

a most interesting account, by Mr. G. H. Grosvenor, of in the presence of the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador. The

the new method of purifying water—both in small quantiPollak-Virag high-speed telegraphic system was described

ties and when stored in large reservoirs-by means of blue upwards of three years ago in a detailed article published

vitriol (copper-sulphate). It has long been known that in NATURE for May 2, 1901, and readers may be referred

copper is fatal to bacteria, but the fear has hitherto heen to that account for particulars of the instruments used.

that the amount required to effect the destruction of sucb Very high speeds-reaching 100,000 words an hour-were

organisms would likewise be injurious to man. Dr. G. T. reported as having been attained in America in 1901 by this system, using several perforating machines to prepare

Moore has, however, announced in an American official

publication that he can employ copper in such a diluted the message being sent; but it now appears that these

form as to be quite harmless to the higher forms of animal, estimates were too high. The postal authorities in Hungary

and yet sufficiently potent to destroy the germs of cholera in recent experiments carried out between Budapest and

and typhoid, as well as mosquito larvæ, in a few hours. Pozsony, a distance of some 218 kilometres, with two copper

The method of introducing the copper-salt into the water telephone wires of 3 mm. diameter, secured the trans

is fully explained in the article. It may be added that mission of 45,000 words an hour. In another series of ex

the treatment is stated to be equally efficacious and periments, conducted between Berlin and Königsberg, a

safe for sterilising milk. As an illustration of the effects maximum transmission of 40,000 words an hour was

of copper in destroying bacteria, it is mentioned that such attained over a distance of 710 kilometres with wires

organisms' are never found on copper coins, although 4.5 mm. in diameter. It is stated that our Post Office

abundant on those of silver, and it is mentioned that department is about to carry out some trials of the Pollak

artisans in copper-works are immune to bacterial diseases. Virag system.

Whether we have been wise in abolishing the old-fashioned The performances of an intelligent horse--" Clever copper tea-kettle is one of the questions raised by the new Hans "-at Berlin two or three months ago attracted much operations. attention. In a letter which appeared in NATURE of October 20 (vol. Ixx. p. 602) the Rev. J. Meehan pointed

The discovery of the existence of an anterior rudimentary out that the performances of the horse were much the same

pair of gills in the Continental fresh-water crayfish Astacus as those of the horse “ Mahomet” shown at the Royal fluviatilis, which is not present in the common A. pallipes Aquarium twelve or thirteen years ago, and depended

of the Thames, was described by Prof. Lankester in entirely upon the animal's observation of movements of the

NATURE' of January 21 (vol. Ixix. p. 270), and is recorded in trainer or the tones of his voice. Much the same opinion

the November issue of the Quarterly Journal of Microhas been reached by a commission of psychological experts,

scopical Science by Miss M. Moseley, who appears to have headed by Prof. Stumpf, of Berlin University, that has sub

inherited her father's love for biological studies.

The jected “Clever Hans" to a .scientific examination.

number of other four papers in the

The conclusion arrived at is that the horse is not capable of

very technical nature, the longest and perhaps the independent thought. According to the Berlin correspon

most important being a detailed account by Mr. J. W. dent of the Daily Chronicle, Prof. Stumpf found that this

Jenkinson of the maturation and fertilisation of the egg horse is gifted with remarkable powers of observation,

of the axolotl (Amblystoma tigrinum). More general interest which four years of patient and skilful treatment have de attaches, however, to the article by Prof. L. Rogers on the veloped. When asked a question “ Hans” knows he has development of flagellated organisms or trypanosomes from to beat with his hoof in reply, but he does not know when

the protozoic parasites found in the spleen in cases of to cease beating until he detects some movement on the

cachexial fevers and certain other diseases. Of the two part of the person questioning him. The commission ex- remaining articles, the one by Dr. J. Rennie discusses the presses the opinion that, so far as Herr von Osten, the so-called epithelial islets in the pancreas of bony fishes, while owner, is concerned, these movements are given involun

the second, by Dr. H. G. Fowler, is devoted to the descriptarily, and are sometimes of so imperceptible a nature as to

tion of the anatomy of a radiolarian of the genus Gazeletta. be undetected, save by highly trained human observers. There has been no trickery, says Prof. Stumpf, but, on the

In an article entitled “ A Flamingo City,” which appears other hand, there have been no reasoning powers on the

in the December number of the Century Magazine, Mr. horse's part. The whole secret is in von Osten's skill,

F. M. Chapman, of the American Museum of Natural patience, and judicious reward, and, on “ Hans's” part,

History, gives a graphic and well illustrated account of one in keen powers of observation.

of the great breeding-places of the American flamingo in

the Bahamas. Although previous observers, both in those Visitors to the Zoological Gardens in the Regent's Park islands and in Europe, have published descriptions of will miss the old Indian rhinoceros “ Jim," which had flamingo colonies, and have refuted the old error that the been a denizen of the menagerie since July 25, 1864, on birds sat straddle-wise on their nests, the author claims to which date it was presented to the society by the late Mr. be the first to have seen nestling flamingoes in their native A. Grote. It died on December 7, after having been out haunts, and likewise to have brought the camera to bear of health for many months. Such a long sojourn in on one of the breeding-places of these birds. Flamingoes, captivity in this country is probably unparalleled for as Mr. Chapman remarks, are more brightly coloured than an animal of this kind. As a statement has appeared any other large bird, and their gregarious habits and the in the Press that the skin might perhaps be mounted in open nature of their resorts are admirably suited to bring the British (Natural History) Museum, it may be well to their gorgeous hues into prominence.

The visit to the state that His Highness the Maharaja of Kuch-Behar nesting-grounds was made at the latter end of May, when recently presented the skin of a wild specimen of the great both eggs and young birds were to be found in the nests

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