Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/798

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Cossacks attend this favorite winter fishing. Not less than ten thousand people participate in it; about a million and eighty thousand pounds of sturgeon and the same amount of other fish (sander and silurus) are caught and fifty-four thousand pounds of caviare prepared. The average price for sturgeon is 13·8 cents a pound, and for caviare about a dollar and a half a pound.

In addition to the fisheries described above, the Ural Cossacks carry on important fishing in the Caspian Sea in spring and also in winter; the methods not being of an unusual character, I omit a description.

The total amount of the local fishery business can be expressed in the following figures for 1891: 5,817,464 pounds of

PSM V43 D798 Ural river catch for caviar.jpg
Fig. 10.—Fall Fishing on the Ural River. Making Caviare.

sturgeon, 73,960,824 pounds of other fish, 1,076,076 pounds fish roe, 173,348 pounds dried sturgeon steak (balik), and 6,084 pounds isinglass were exported from the territory of the Ural Cossacks. The total amount of fish landed must have been larger than these figures, owing to the local consumption, though in comparison with that exported it is quite insignificant. Thanks to the duty for every pound of fish exported from the Ural Cossacks' land, local fish trade statistics are excellent, and we are in possession of very valuable figures, similar to the above, for more than half a century, which gives an exact idea of the direction, increase, and decrease of this important industry in a very large and definite region.[1]

  1. The diagram is to be seen in the Russian Department of the Fishery Building at the World's fair.