Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/251

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241
THE WORK OF THE "ALBATROSS"
THE WORK OF THE "ALBATROSS" IN THE PHILIPPINES
By ALBERT L. BARROWS
NORDHOFF, CAL.

THE Albatross is an iron, twin-screw steamer of a thousand tons displacement, built for the United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries in 1883 to enlarge upon the work of fishery investigation and deep-sea exploration begun on a small scale by the Fishhawk, a wooden steamer of some two hundred tons burden. Since the spring of 1888, the Albatross has been in Pacific waters, where she has made trips to Hawaii and Japan and through several groups of the Polynesian Islands, in addition to many seasons spent among the salmon fisheries of Alaska. For the past two years and a half this ship has been in the Philippines, making as complete a collection as possible of Philippine fish. The normal complement of the Albatross is about seventy-five officers and men, detailed from the United States Navy, but during her stay in the Philippines a large portion of the crew was temporarily replaced by Filipino recruits; the uniform of the American sailor is highly attractive to many a Filipino youth. The collecting operations on this cruise have been in charge of a resident naturalist with two assistants, beside two Filipino helpers in the laboratory routine and seamen detailed to the fishing boats. The National Museum has also placed representatives on board, and two Japanese artists have been employed for a part of the trip. In addition to the work of the ship, a special agent of the Bureau of Fisheries has been detailed on shore to compile data on the present supply of fishery products and the demand for them in the Philippines.

The work-room, through which all the specimens are passed, is situated amidships on the main deck. Drawing tables for the artists are hinged to the walls under the ports, and the ship's scientific library is contained in cases along the fore and after bulkheads. A small aquarium of slate and glass is fastened above the sink, and at the side of this there is a battery of four hatching jars. On the deck below this main laboratory is the storeroom, from which open the photographic dark-room and the sick-bay. The smaller specimens, after being sorted, labeled and packed into jars and bottles, are stowed away in lockers here and the larger fish are kept in copper tanks of alcohol. Most of the supplies and collecting gear are stowed in the laboratory hold below this storeroom.

The oceanic work of the Albatross is based upon the soundings taken