Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/670

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652
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

It is believed that the larger apparatus could be constructed now for from £150 to £175, and the smaller for £50.

The cost of charcoal for the stoves with the addition of anæsthetic fluid is, in the large chamber, a little over one halfpenny per animal when eighty to a hundred are killed at one time. When fewer are killed the expense is a little increased; the trouble and substance required being as little for a hundred as for a less part of that number.

 

FISH AND FISHING IN CHINESE WATERS.
By M. MAURICE JAMETEL.

THE Yellow Sea is distinguished above all other things by the abundance of the life it sustains, both on its surface and in its depths. Everywhere that there is enough water to carry them, in the numerous rivers and canals, and on the coast-waters of China, there are coming and going constantly boats of every shape and size, in fleets. The activity of this marine life is owing not more to the comfort with which the abundance of water-surface and the frequency of harbors allow it to be kept up than to the intense vitality and fruitfulness of the denizens of the water itself. Wherever there is a little water, organized beings increase and multiply so rapidly that the most industrious labors of the fishermen impose no check upon them, and measures to protect them would be superfluous.

Once, as I was crossing the marshes between Tientsin and Peking, I noticed here and there little ponds of water that had been left by the melting of the ice in the spring. I should have given them no attention if I had not observed some peasants wading through them, as if they took pleasure in the occupation, I asked my driver what they were doing, and he said they were catching fish. Hardly believing him, I went up to one of the ponds, and found two men engaged there, one scooping up little fish with a hand-net, and filling a basket with them, and the other catching with his hands frogs to keep company with the fishes; and this in a puddle which a European tadpole would have hardly deigned to live in.

The great abundance of ichthyic life in the Chinese waters is frequently ascribed to the high development which pisciculture has attained in the Celestial Empire. I should say, from what I have observed, that it is due to the wise pisciculture of the past, under which a reserve of aquatic life has been accumulated, so abundant that years of improvidence and waste have not been sufficient perceptibly to reduce it; for the art of pisciculture, like some other arts which once flourished in China, and are now in decay, has of late years fallen into comparative disuse.