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Full text of "Madras fisheries bulletin"

BULLETIN No. X 
MADRAS FISHERIES 



ANNUAL REPORTS, 
19€8-191T 



I 



AGENTS FOR THE SALE OF MADRAS GOVERNMENT 

PUBLICATIONS. 



IN INDIA. 

BuTTERwoRTH & Co. (Ltd.), 6, Hastings Street , Calcutta. 

R. CAMnRAV & Co., Calcutta. 

E. M. GoPAi.AKRiSMNA KoNE, Puduman tapaiii, Madura. 

Hartleys, Mount Road, Madras. 

HiGGlNBOTHAMS (Ltd.), Mount Road, Madras. 

V. Kalyanarama Iyer & Co., Esplanade, Madras. 

G. C. Loganatham Brothers, Madras. 

S. MuRTiiY & Co., Madras. 

G. A. Natesan & Co., Madras. 

The Superintendent, Nazair Kanun Hind Puess, Allaliabad. 

P. R. Rama Iyer & Co., Madras. 

Ramakrishna & Sons, Lahore. 

D. P.. Taraporevala Sons & Co., Bombay. 

Thackek & Co. (Ltd.), Bombay. 

Thacker, Spink & Cc, 3, Esplanade East, Calcutta. 

S. Vas & Co., Madras. 

S.P.C.K. Press, Vepery, Madras. 



IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. 

B. H. Blackweli., 50 and 51, Broad Street, Oxford. 

Constable & Co., 10, Orange Street, Leicester Square, London, W.C. 

Deighton, Bell & Co. (Ltd.), Cambridge. 

T. Fisher Unwin (Ltd.), i, Adelphi Terrace, London, W.C. 

Grindlay & Co., 54, Parliament Street, London, S.W. 

Kegan Paul, Trench, Tr'ubner & Co. (Ltd.), 68— 74, Carter Lane, London, 
E.C. and 25, Museum Street, London, W.C. 

Henry S. King & Co., 65, Cornhill, London, E.C. 

P. S. King & Son, 2 and 4, Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, S.W. 

LuzAC & Co., 46, Great Russell Street, London, W.C. 

B. QuARiTCH, II, Grafton Street, New Bond Street, London, W. 

W. Thacker & Co., 2, Creed Lane, London, E.C. 

Oliver and Boyd, Tweeddale Court, Edinburgh. 

E. PoNSONBV (Ltd.), 116, Grafton Street, Dublin. 

W. Wesley & Son. 2«, Essex Street, Strand, London. 

ON THE CONTINENT. 

Ernest Leroux, 28, Rue Bonaparte, Paris. 
Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Holland. 



MADRAS FISHERIES BUREAU. 



-4 »- 



ANNUAL REPORTS 



OF THE 



MADRAS FISHERIES BUREAU 



1908—1917. 



BULLETIN No. X 
(PART II OF BULLETIN No. I). 



MADRAS: 
PRINTED BV THE SUPERINTENDENT, GOVERNMENT PRESS. 

I'RICE, I rupee lo autias.-] ' i 9 i 8 . [2 shillings 6 fence. 



LIST OF CONTENTS OF PREVIOUS BULLETINS. 



BUL. 
NO. PAGES 

1. Papers from 1899 relating chiefly to the development ok 

THE Madras Fisheries Bureau. By Sir F. A. Nicholson, 1915, 
Rs. 1-14-0. 

2. Note on Fisheries in Japan. By Sir F. A. Nicholson, 1907, 

Rs. 1-2-0 — 

Deals with Japanese methods of fishing, the condition of the fisher- 
folk, the assistance given by Government and by local associa- 
tions, the fishery laws and regulations, etc. (Pages 105.) 

3. The Preservation and Curing of Fish, (Exhausted ; revised 

edition under preparation) — 
Describes the difficulties and methods of preserving fish from taint 
whether by refrigeration, desiccation, pickling, smoking, can- 
ning, etc. (Pages 119.) 

4. Madras Fishery Investigations, 1908 (out of print) — 

I. Report on the suitability of Pulicat Lake for oyster-culture 

(one sketch-plan). 

II. Note on an attempt to ascertain the principal determining 

factor in oystei-spawning in Madras backwaters (one plate). 25 

III. Report on the feasibility of operating deep-sea fishing boats 

on the coasts of the Madras Presidency, with special refer- 
ence to the selection of fishing centres and harbours of 
refuge (illustrated with three plates) ... ... ... 33 

IV. The results of a fishery cruise along the Malabar coast and 

to the Laccadive Islands in 1908 (illustrated with 27 photo- 
graphs and text-figures) ... ... ... ... ... 71 

5. The Practice of Oyster-culture at Arcachon and its lessons 

for India. By James Hornell, f.l,s., 1910, Rs. 1-6-0— 

I. Introduction ... ... ... ... ... ... ... i — 4 

II. The physical conditions characterising Arcachon basin ... 4 — 7 

III. The origin and development of oyster-culture at -Arcachon ... 7 — ig 

IV. Present methods and conditions ... ... ... ... ... ig—y^ 

V. Principal characteristics of other European systems of cultiva- 
tion n 75—79 

VI. Applicability of French methods to oyster-culture in India ... 79 — 90 

6. Marine Fish-farming for India. By James Hornell, f.l.s,, 
191 1, Rs. 1--4-0- 

(1) Introductory I — 3 

(2) French fish-farming at Arcachon ... ... ... ... ... 4 — 20 

(3) The communal fish-farms of Comacchio ... ... ... 21 — 62 

(4) The scope for marine fish-farming in India ... ... ... 63 — 83 

7. The Sacred Chank of India. By James Hornell, f.l.s., 1914, 

Rs. 2 — 

Introductory ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1-2 

I. The chank fisheries of India and Ceylon ... ... ... 3 — 40 

II. The chank bangle industry ... ... ... ... ... 41 — [16 

HI. The role played by the chank in Indian religion and life ... 117 — 172 

IV. Appendix 173 — 181 



( iv ) 



BUL. 
NO. 



PAGES 

8. Marine Fishery Investigations in Madras, 1914-15. By James 

HORNELL, F.L.S., I916, Rs. I-I2-0 — 

I. A note on the edible oyster ... ... ... ... ... i — 10 

II. An explanation of the irregularly cyclic character of the pearl 

fisheries of the Gulf of Mannar ... ... ... ... 11 — 22 

III. Notes upon two exploring cruises in search of trawl grounds 

oft the Indian and Ceylon coasts .. ... .. ... 23 — 41 

IV. Report on the pearl fishery held at Tondi, 1914 ... ... 43 — 92 

V. Professor Huxley and the Ceylon pearl fishery, with a note 

on the forced or cultural production of free spherical pearls. 93 — 104 
VI. The utilization of coral and shells for lime-burning in the 

Madras Presidency ... ... ... ... ... ... 105 — 126 

9. Fishery Statistics and Information, West and East Coasts, 

Madras Presidency. Compiled by V. Govindan, b.a., 1916 ; 
introduction by Sir F. A. Nicholson, Rs. 1-12-0 — 

(i) Introduction ... 1—3 

Section I —Fish-curing yards, number of ticket- 
holders, markets, etc. ... .. ... 7 — 9 

Section II — Number of boats engaged in 

fishing ... 10 — 14 

Section III — Various kinds of nets, etc., in 

use 15—30 

Section IV — Methods of curing fish ... ... 31 — 44 

Section V — Economic condition of fisherfolk 

and curers ... ... ... ... ... 45 — 62 

Section I — Fish-curing yards, number of ticket- 
holders, etc ... ... .. 65 — 71 

Section II — Boats and catamarans ... ... 72 — 79 

Section IIT — Nets, etc., in use ... ... 78 — 104 

Section IV — Methods of curing ... ... 105 — 120 

Section V — Economic condition of fisherfolk 

and curers ... ... ... 121 — 140 



(2) West Coast. 



(3) 

(4) 

(5) 
(6) 



Do. 

Do. 

Do. 
Do. 



(7) East Coast. 



(8) 


Do. 


(9) 


Do. 


(10) 


Do. 


(") 


Do. 



C O N T E N T S . 



PAGES 



Bulletin No. X — 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department from 

January 1908 to end of March 1909 ... ... ... i — 7 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

ofificial year 1909-10 ... ... ... ... ... 8 — 30 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 191 o- 11 ... ... ... ... ... ... 31 — 52 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1911-12 ... 53—65 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1912-13 ... ... ... ... ... ... 66 — 80 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1913-14 ... ... 81 — 96 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1914-15 ■■• ... ... ••• 97—121 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1915-16 ... 122 — 157 

Government Order thereon No. 2764, Revenue, dated 5th 

December 1916 ... ... ... ... ... ... 158-159 

Report of the work done in the Fisheries Department for the 

year 1916-17 ... 160—176 

Government Order thereon No. 285, Revenue, dated 21st 

January 1918 177 — 17,^ 



MADRAS FISHERIES BUREAU, 



BULLETIN No. X 



BEING 



PART II OF BULLETIN No. I. 



Letter — from Sir F. A. Nicholson, k.c.i.e., Honorary 

Director, Madras Fisheries. 
Dated — the 29th March 1909. 

I have the honour to submit a brief report of work 
done in the Fisheries office from January 1908 to the 
end of March 1909 

I remained in charge throughout the period ; Mr. H. 
C. Wilson, appointed from 1907 as Piscicultural Expert, 
was also on continuous duty ; in July Mr. James Hornell, 
F.L.S., came in as Marine Assistant on an engagement 
for one year, and Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., was appointed 
Personal and General Assistant. A small staff (two) has 
been appointed to the Ennore Experimental Station, 
where a West Coast Volunteer, without pay, has joined, 
at his own request, to study our m.ethods. 

Ennore Experimental Station. — The first important 
work was the planning of an experimental Marine 
Station for economic work as suggested in paragraphs 
186 to 194 of my Note on Japanese F'isheries and in 
paragraph 16 of my letter No. 230 of 31st December 
1907. This was drawn up at length in my No. 55, dated 
5th May 1908, and was sanctioned in G.O. No. 1635, 
Revenue, dated 12th June 1908, the location selected 
being Ennore for reasons given. The building and 
compound — the Public Works Rest House — were handed 
over on the 5th July 1908 and I appointed a Superintend- 
ent and Head Curer. The objects were the establish- 
ment of improved catching methods by large boats and 
more powerful nets, etc., and the production of absolutely 
sound and wholesome food, firstly, by keeping fish alive 



up to shore in live-wells, chests, or cars, secondly, by 
properly treating dead fish (a) on the boat, {/?) on the 
way to market, (c) in the curing factory, proper curing, 
viz., by perfect cleanliness, rapidity, thoroughness, and 
by novel methods such as smoking, pickling, etc., being 
especially aimed at. 

Little could be done to the end of 1908 beyond 
repairs and the starting of salting and smoking arrange- 
ments, since everything was novel and the place of 
course a blank ; also the north-east monsoon and the two 
months' tour with the " Margarita" on the West Coast 
intervened. Advance has, however, been made in 
various directions. 

A beginning has been made in investigating the 
proper treatment of fresh (not cured) fish on the way to 
market or to the consumer, so as to ensure (i) that it 
shall arrive at its present market, especially inland, in 
good condition, (2) that the markets or areas served shall 
be considerably extended. This is perhaps the most 
difficult of problems in a country possessing a fully 
tropical climate ranging roughly from yo° F. to 100° F. 
with slight variations on either side, and yet poor both 
in the material assets which simplify the question in the 
West, such as wealth and high prices, cheap ice and coal, 
short journeys and rapid transport, and a^so in the 
possession of moral assets such as business enterprise, 
technical knowledge, educated public tastes and opinions, 
sanitary regulations, and so forth. The problem is how 
to get wholesome, untainted, fresh fish to market, even in 
Madras but more particularly inland, without ice as a 
rule, at low cost, and in large quantity. 

As regards sea-coast markets it is merely a question 
(a) of keeping the fish alive to shore, (S) of cleaning and 
treating dead fish at sea ; this has been adverted to above 
as waiting the large boat and live-car. As regards 
inland markets it is the above//;/.? further conditions. In 
the matter of refrigeration it means better packing and 
better arrangements on the railway ; without refrigeration 
it means thorough cleanliness and careful packing, and, 
for distant markets, the slight use of simple, innocuous 
preservatives. The investigation of this problem has 
just begun at Ennore ; thoroughly cleaned fish are being 
packed in various ways and kept in a closed chest as they 
ought to be in a railway van, and compared with others 



packed in the way now usual ; experiments are, however, 
insufficiently advanced for record and await the coming 
hot weather. 

It has, however, been proved by numerous ex- 
periments that fish, well cleaned and soaked for a few 
minutes in weak brine with a slight admixture of a 
boric preservative will keep perfectly up to at least 24 
hours without the ttse of ice even in March, especially if 
wrapped in special paper ; Soiling's paper has been 
tried but vegetable parchment has proved better, and 
ordinary " butter paper " was practically as good as the 
latter and much cheaper. The boric preservatives 
(Keeps and Arcticanus) are absolutely innocuous even 
when taken into the system in considerable doses ; the 
recent British Departmental Committee on Preservatives 
expressly suggest 0*5 per cent of boric acid as permissible 
even in such foods, e.g., butter, potted meats, etc., as are 
taken bodily into the system, whereas in the case offish 
less than this percentage is used and then only as a mere 
detergent and antiseptic bath, little of which penetrates 
the tissues and the whole of which is extracted in the 
usual course of soaking and cooking. If, as shown, the 
use of these harmless preservatives, even in such minute 
quantities, entirely prevents taint for 24 hours, then the 
up-country consumer can obtain fresh fish at cheap rates 
at all events for much of the year, and above all, free from 
the deadly ptomaines and toxins of incipient decomposi- 
tion, a stage in which much of the " fresh " fish at present 
arrives a few miles from the coast. Even when sent in 
ice the fish is frequently uneatable — experto crede — and 
a slight antiseptic wash will greatly improve its travelling 
powers. The precise details and methods are being 
separately reported, but I may say that in some cases in 
March, fish caught during the day were treated at 4 r.M., 
packed in simple parcel papers, taken without ice by rail 
throughout the night, and eaten, e.g., at Yercaud, abso- 
lutely fresh and good, at noon next, and were also good 
on the following day, if cooked soon after arrival. In 
the curing yard they were kept for more than 24 hours 
without the slightest sign of taint appearing. 

The "Hislaire" process of preserving fish by 
" Sterilisation" has also been tried, probably for the first 
time in India. This was well spoken of in 1907 when. 
I was in England and I then obtained useful results, 

I -A 



4 

as mentioned in my No. 55 of 1908, and in my Pamphlet 
on Fish Preservation ; the Ceylon and Indian News- 
papers also recently discussed it. As I had bought a 
steriliser and pastilles I have been experimenting it at 
Ennore with remarkable results ; the fresh fish treated 
have been hung in the open air and have continued 
without taint up to complete dryness though they have 
received no salt, ice, or pj'eservative whatsoever; flies 
entirely abstain from touching them ; when wrapped 
in "butter paper" or other good quality of air proof 
paper, such as vegetable parchment, the fish kept 
perfectly good for days. The fish are quite indis- 
tinguishable from untreated fish in appearance, taste, or 
digestibility and can be — have been — sent up-country 
without ice and without fear of taint en route ; this has 
been proved by actual experiment in March. The 
experiments are now proceeding and will continue 
through the hot weather and I am of opinion that the 
process will be found successful ; the sterilised fish has 
been subsequently smoked with much success. 

The chlorine process, viz., that of steeping fish 
in electrolysed sea water, is also under successful ex- 
periments ; by the courtesy of Messrs. Binny & Co., I 
am being supplied gratis with the fluid, the preserving 
power of which per se so long as chlorine is evolved, 
has been completely demonstrated ; it has also been 
proved that the smell of chlorine is evanescent and 
entirely disappears in curing, though in fresh fish a 
slight smell occasionally remains. If completely suc- 
cessful the process will be very valuable, since absolut- 
ely nothing is added to the fish which can be brought 
from sea to shore in a weak bath of the solution in a 
perfectly fresh state, and can then be treated as desired. 
In curing the process enables us to use light salting by 
keeping the fish good while the fish is in this light 
pickle and until it can be taken out, dried, and smoked ; 
such fish must, however, be consumed at an early 
date. The process will probably be applicable not 
only as above but in transporting fresh fish inland, 
since experiment has shown that fish even when cooked 
and eaten fresh, practically loses the smell of chlorine. 
The fluid used for electrolysis is a solution of our ordi- 
nary sea salt in water. This and the Hislaire process, 
and the preservative effect of a slight addition to the 



5 

salt of a boric preservative, are important demonstra- 
tions, but the experiments will be continued throughout 
the hot weather for further testing. 

In the matter of curing fish advances have been 
made by observing absolute cleanliness especially in the 
gutting shed and in the thorough washing of the fish ; 
plain salted fish are obtained without the least degree of 
taint, and which only require more manipulative skill 
to become a product that would be considered first- 
class in foreiofn markets. The discoloured salt which 
alone is procurable is one stumbling block, and I am 
compelled to dissolve, decant, and evaporate if I wish 
for fairly white salt ; from one yard the yellow mud 
obtained amounted to lo per cent of the salt dissolved. 
The amount of salt required, the period in salt, and the 
best method of drying are all matters under investi- 
gation, as also the method of salting by immersion 
in strong brine instead of the method of dry salting. 
Proper scaffolds and "flakes" for drying are of course 
in use and are very efficacious and cleanly, as compared 
with the indigenous method of laying on mats on the 
ground. Very few blow-flies attack properly treated 
fish and even these can be and are being entirely kept 
away either by using gauze coverings over the flakes 
or by a sprinkling of preservative ; naturally I favour 
the former. 

Most of the salted fish has received an additional 
antiseptic treatment by being smoked ; the kilns in use 
are simple and cheap, the cost of fuel is negligible in 
a kilnfull of fish, and the product has found general 
acceptance and favour. Mackerel, ribbon fish (Tri- 
chiurus), Seriolichthys vipinnulatus (a horse mackerel), 
small seer, large seer in slices, pomfret, and kora 
(Sciaena), have been the chief fish smoked, and have all 
been successful ; there is already a considerable demand 
and it is now within any one's power to take up the pro- 
cess as an industrial business and to fill the demand. 
The British and Indian soldiers are strongly in favour of 
the products which supply a tasty and appetising food, 
and high Madras households have by no means disdained 
the locally-produced substitute for the kipper, the 
bloater, and the haddock ; to consumers up-country this 
substitute for the almost unattainable fresh fish, for the 
expensive tinned goods, or for the indigenous product, 



6 

has already proved acceptable and will be still more so 
as the processes develop in the direction of a more 
lightly cured article. I may add that actual demonstra- 
tions with kilns and fish and lasting about a fortnight 
each, were given on the West Coast (Cannanore and 
Tellicherry) and at Waltair ; at Cannanore the British 
troops and the Jail have taken up the manufacture, and 
various Companies and persons have followed suit, 
especially one Company to whose Principal I showed 
my first smoked fish (mackerel) in October and whose 
agents have since inspected the Cannanore and Ennore 
smoking places. Demands have reached me from 
Bombay, the United Provinces, the Punjab, etc., and I 
am now trying to increase my output so as to increase 
the knowledge of, and demand for, the product and thus 
prove to private capital that there is a demand which is 
not only already great but may easily develop up-country 
to an enormous business. I shall, of course, be only too 
ready to give up the business if private capital will take 
it up, as the work of the station is purely experimental, 
demonstrational, and educational. Experiments are 
proceeding in the way of providing lightly salted and 
smoked goods for early consumption, the present goods 
are intended to keep for some time. 

As sanctioned by G.O. Mis. No. 2980, Revenue, 
dated 26th October 1908, a small area, perhaps half an 
acre, of the backwater alongside of the station sheds 
has been enclosed by post and wire, and a very success- 
ful first attempt has been made to ascertain the period, 
cause, duration, and abundance of the fall of oyster 
spat, to receive it on "collectors," and to ascertain 
the rate of growth, which, in other countries, would be 
considered phenomenal ; the best grown young oyster 
was 5 inches in breadth at less than 2 months old. 
This gives an idea of the possibilities of oyster culture 
in our warm and shallow backwaters, and, as already 
suggested pass i?n (e.g., paras. 42 and 65 of my No. 55 
of 1908), of supplying countries such as China with their 
dried flesh, or other countries with oyster extract as 
prepared in the United States ; this latter product is 
most nutritious and digestible, and can be put up in 
tins, jars, etc., and readily exported ; in this way the 
valuable constituents of hundreds of millions of oysters 
could be secured as food and a large industry started. 



The matter has been reported on in Mr. HornelTs 
reports sent with my covering letter No. 1 15, dated 5th 
March 1909, and the experiment will be developed next 
autumn when a spat-fall is due. 

In G.O. No. 2267, Revenue, dated 17th August 
1908, Government sanctioned afresh the opening of an 
Experimental Station on the West Coast in special view 
of canning and of otherwise treating the abundance of 
fish there found ; in letter No. 1180B-108-1, dated 26th 
August 1908, they approved of my obtaining a small oil 
and fertiliser plant such as would be suitable for very 
small capitalists or even fisher folk, as a demonstration 
of what might be done in every coastal village to pro- 
vide good fish oil and good fish guano free from oil from 
the fresh or dried sardine, a subject on which I 
wrote newspaper articles which have excited interest. 
This station has not yet been started as I hope to 
examine suitable plant in England. Meanwhile I was 
interviewed on the West Coast by several persons — one 
a large Mangalore firm — on the oil and fertiliser busi- 
ness, and inspected a small wooden press erected by 
Mr. M. C. Choyi of Cannanore on the direct sugges- 
tion of my Personal Assistant, Mr. V. Govindan, who 
has long been interested in such matters, and specimens 
of his oil and fish residue. Mr. Choyi has, I hear, 
since erected three wooden presses, but is in doubt 
about a market ; I have advised him to sell his pro- 
ducts to one of the local firms who deal in such oroods. 
Mr. Govindan is interestincr himself in desiornino; and 
gettmg made cheap but effective presses for the purpose, 
so that any small capitalist can take up the business, 
and I hope to second his efforts by enquiries at home, 
as there are numerous effective presses which have 
passed the test of experience, as well as economical 
boiling plant. 



Letter — from Sir F. A. Nicholson, k.c.i.e., Honorary 

Director, Madras Fisheries. 
Dated — Madras, the 21st July 1910. 

Submitting report of the work done in the Fishery Department for 
the year ending 31st March 1910. 

* * * 

3. Personnel. — I remained in charge throughout the 
period ; Mr. H. C. Wilson was also continuously on duty 
as Piscicultural Expert ; Mr. James Hornell who was 
temporarily appointed for a year in July 1908, came in 
from I St July 1909 on a new contract as Marine Assistant 
and Superintendent of the Pearl and Chank Fisheries : 
Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., remained on duty as Personal 
Assistant, but acted for six months as Superintendent of 
Pearl and Chank Fisheries durino- Mr. Hornell's absence 
on leave in Europe. The staft remained practically as 
in 1 908-1 909. 

4. The work respectively done by the departmental 
officers is abstracted as follows, it being premised that 
merely salient items are mentioned and those only in 
outline ; the bulk of the work cannot be put on paper in 
a department dealing mainly with investigation and 
experiment. During the year Mr. Wilson completed 
arrangements at Avalanche for the rearing of trout, 
obtained through Government an excellent consignment 
of irideus trout ova from New Zealand, very successfully 
hatched out the eofors and stocked all suitable streams on 
the Nilgiris with fry, besides stocking the Avalanche and 
Emerald Valley rivers with mature trout ; he also 
continued his supervision of the upper waters of the 
Bhavani and Moyar rivers. He inspected the larger 
tanks of the Periyar system and the Periyar Lake in view 
to fish culture ; also the larger tanks (Barur, etc.) of the 
Salem district, and the great tanks of Daroji and 
Cumbum with a similar view ; the reports embodying 
his proposals have been laid before Government. He 
completed a scheme for the annual propagation of hilsa 
in the Coleroon which was sanctioned by Government 
and put into execution, and the possibilities of transferring 
hilsa to the West Coast were also experimentally 
examined. The upper reaches of the Cauvery were 
examined, and especially the Hoginkal area where an 
annual and very destructive fish drive is said to take 



place with the use of dynamite and other illegal methods, 
A most important experiment was devised in all details 
and sanctioned by Government, viz., the Sunkesula fish 
farm at the anient of the Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal, in 
view to stock the 200 miles of this canal with good fish ; 
work will be begun this year, 

Mr. Hornell took charge from the ist April 1909 of 
the Pearl and Chank Fisheries transferred to this depart- 
ment by G.O, Press No. 601, Revenue, dated 4th March 
1909, and completed his inspection, in company with the 
Port Officer who was till then in charge, of the Pearl 
Banks ; he also examined questions such as the supply 
of sea weed for industrial purposes, a point raised by a 
large Madras firm. In May he obtained leave on medi- 
cal certificate and proceeded to Europe where, however, at 
my request, he devoted rather more than half his time to 
various important investigations, viz., the best class of 
motor-engine for Indian fishery work, the best designs 
compatible with cheapness for an inspection schooner, 
the great Arcachon oyster fish culture and sardine indus- 
tries, certain methods of fish curing in Scotland and 
Cornwall, the celebrated fish culture systems of the 
Comacchio lagoons, etc. On these enquiries he visited 
Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy, his journeys includ- 
ing short voyages on fishing boats and the Irish 
Scientific Cruiser " Helga," and he got into touch with 
the several Fishery departments and their officials. On 
returning to India in October, he inspected as per G.O. 
Mis, No. 2822, Revenue, dated 14th October 1909, the 
oyster beds near Karachi on behalf of the Bombay 
Government and reported on the same. From Novem- 
ber he was in charoe of the Pearl and Chank Fisheries 
as mentioned below and in the regular report, and has 
sent in reports on most of the matters examined in 
Europe, together with proposals for oyster culture based 
partly on his enquiry at Arcachon and partly on results 
obtained in oyster growth at the Ennore Experimental 
station. He has also, as Marine Assistant, supervised 
the building at Tuticorin of the motor fishing boat 
" Turbinella." negotiated the sale of the " Margarita," 
etc. 

Mr. V. Govindan, Personal Assistant, was in charge 
of the Pearl and Chank Fisheries branch during Mr, 
Hornell's absence in Europe, carried chank operations 



lO 

to a successful close in July, and initiated work in 
September and October for the season just expired, 
besides keeping me in touch with all current work during 
my own absence ; he also materially assisted me for 
several months in starting the Cannanore Experimental 
station, since which he has begun a very important 
enquiry into the commercial aspect of fishery work as 
mentioned below. He continued also throughout to 
supervise work in general as my Assistant. 

Personally I continued my general work as Honorary 
Director ; while at Home I visited Scotland — with Mr. 
Hornell — and Ireland, partly to acquaint myself with the 
work done by the several departments, partly further to 
study methods of fish-curing, especially those of making 
kippers and Finnon haddocks, and partly to examine the 
various motor-eno^ines established in actual fishino- 
boats. I settled with Mr. Hornell and certain ship- 
builders, the design, etc., of the proposed inspection 
schooner and her engine ; I was also approached and 
interviewed by several persons or firms desirous of 
starting either fisheries or fishing industries, e.g., fish oil 
and guano, in India. All important papers were sent to 
me from India for disposal and orders, and having drawn 
up a full curriculum for Ennore I was able to supervise 
operations through fortnightly reports. I examined 
plant for can-making, canning, and other fishery opera- 
tions, and purchased small plants for beginning work on 
these lines. On arrival in Madras in September I 
continued work at Ennore ; but for reasons elsewhere 
explained, obtained Government sanction to open a large 
station at Cannanore where, from 20th October to 31st 
March, I personally carried on continuous work as men- 
tioned below. 

The above details have been given as they show, in 
bare outline, the character of the work done by the 
department during the year under report. 

5. Marine — Exper-iiucntal stations, Ennoix. — Para- 
graph 3 of my report for 1908-09 read in G.O. No. 
1 2 15, dated 4th May 1909, mentioned the starting of 
this station and the objects aimed at, while paragraphs 
6 to 18 gave details of work done in the few months of 
its existence, viz., the keeping of fish fresh on the way 
to market and consumer, the curing of fish by salting 
and drying, by smoking, the starting of an experiment 



It 

in oyster growth, etc. Work was continued there 
from I St April to 20th October but under many un- 
foreseen difficulties, chiefly (i) very poor supply and 
dearness of fish owing to the proximity of Madras and 
the inefficiency, etc., of the fishermen ; (2) impossibility 
of exact experiment owing to the uncertainty as to 
freshness, or, rather, to the possibility of taint ; (3) 
inefficiency of labour and want of interest due to the 
poverty of the local men and absence of any local curing 
industry. Certain successes in operation required that 
the experiments should be conducted on a larger or 
commercial scale ; other experiments were impossible in 
the absence of cheap and abundant fish, especially shoal- 
ing fish such as sardines (for food, oil, guano, etc.) and 
mackerel. Hence a new station was opened at Canna- 
nore under the sanction of Government contained in G.O. 
No. 2267, Revenue, dated 17th August 1908 (see also 
G.O. No. 3488, Revenue, dated i8th December 1909) ; a 
good site for canning, etc., operations was obtained from 
the Military authorities but not till February 19 10, too 
late for work ; a small piece of land was, however, leased 
for general work in November, shedding was put up, 
and operations carried on for the rest of the year. 

6. Cannanoi'e station. — This locality is well suited 
for large experimental work : it has numerous fishermen 
and abundance of fish, a large fish-curing yard, and a 
number not only of intelligent curers, but of fish 
merchants and master curers who cure for Ceylon and 
other parts, many possessing capital and much business 
capacity and experience. For about four and a half 
months numerous experiments were made in catching : 
in keeping fish untainted without ice {a) to shore, {b) for 
one or two days on shore : in ordinary salting and drying ; 
in smoking, especially of the lighter classes similar to 
kippers, bloaters, and haddocks ; in the cure of sardines 
as pilchards ; in the preparation of fish oil and guano 
from sardines ; in preliminary work on fish paste making. 
A young man of some means, from Travancore, was also 
trained in the various operations. 

7. Catching. — The two sanctioned fishing boats 
mentioned in paragraph 4 of my last year's report, were 
both built during the year, one, a sailer on Scotch lines, 
of about 12 tons, named the "Sutherland" — after the 
Chairman of the Scottish Board by whose courtesy I 



12 

obtained the design— was completed and put in commis- 
sion at Cannanore in February ; as it was then late in 
the year and alterations and larger nets were required, 
she did not do much fishing but has already proved 
herself a useful boat, and has caught considerable hauls 
of seer and mackerel in 8 fathoms when the inshore 
boats caught nothing of the sort. The second boat of 
about 25 tons, built on Arklow designs with a 15 
horse-power " Dan " motor and called the " Turbinella " 
— after the chanks which she will help to fish — was 
launched during the year, but completed only in the 
current year ; she is a very strong and fine boat, built 
by the " Madura Co.," Tuticorin, and is much admired. 
But the catching work at Cannanore was principally 
effected during October- December by two Ratnagiri 
boats engaged for the purpose : these are 6 to 8 ton 
boats, simple drifters, fishing with their own drift nets, 
measuring above half a mile when shot, in 8 to 1 2 
fathoms, outside the usual limit of the Malabar canoes ; 
they brought in large quantities of medium seer, small 
seer (varian), pomfret, Chirocentrus dorab (valei), small 
sharks, etc. ; 1,500 lb. for one night's work was the 
largest catch. These boats enabled me to ascertain (i) 
the character of the fish available in the above zone, 
(2) the ability of existing boats to catch such fish with 
existing appliances,- (3) the quantities, value, and profits 
of t:he catches of such boats, (4) the possibility of keep- 
ing fish fresh to shore. The character of the fish (seer, 
etc.) has been mentioned, and the ability of the Bombay 
— not Malabar or South Kanara — boats to catch them. 
The quantities were as follows ; in 48 nights of the two 
months — they did not fish when the moon is near the full 
— the two boats caught and delivered about 38,000 lb. 
offish, by far the larger part being prime ; this excludes 
fish taken by the crews for food and fish rejected as 
tainted : one boat moreover only fished for 38 nights. 
Hence each boat cauoht on an averaoe at the rate of 10 
tons for the two months : the value, as paid by a local 
fish curer and continued by me, was about Rs. 1,600 or 
Rs. 800 per boat with six men, plus the fish used as 
food, etc. No hire was paid for the boats, but I agreed 
to take and they to give their catches at the settled 
rates which were some 20 to 25 per cent below beach 
rates. 



13 

But it was soon found that the catches were often 
soft, pasty, or tainted, since the fish, being caught in 
drift nets, had been slowly suffocated, and had often 
been dead some 12 hours on arrival at shore; as the 
crew refused to gut the fish I sent out a gutter on each 
boat who gutted and washed the fish and applied salt to 
the cavity ; latterly a very small quantity of boric 
preservative was added to the salt ; this precaution 
entirely preserved the fish and I seldom had pasty fish 
thereafter. The contrast between the fish of the first 
and last weeks was remarkable. It has, then, been 
proved that at almost no expense — since, ordinarily, a 
boat's crew would do the gutting, etc., themselves — a 
large amount of good fish can be kept good, whereas I 
have often seen large fish on the beach quite unfit for 
food even though caught in near waters. 

I conclude that Ratnagiri boats are, for West Coast 
waters and weather, well adapted for deep sea fishing all 
through the fishing season ; they are cheap, good sailers, 
and manage a large fleet of drift nets ; those on trial 
had, however, insufficient room for gutting operations, 
still less for storing, so that they cannot keep the sea 
for several days ; the larger ones which stay out for a 
week, should suit better and will subsequently be tried. 
Until motor boats are introduced these lareer Ratnagiri 
boats should serve our purposes, especially with a motor 
carrier. 

8. Keeping fish zintainted withoiit ice. — This has 
been mentioned in the preceding paragraph so far as 
regards the boats. Keeping fish fresh on shore, e.g., 
during a journey, is equally possible ; the experiments 
at Ennore during the hot weather and Cannanore more 
lately, show this. The experiments mentioned in para- 
graphs 9 and 10 of my previous report were continued, 
and summing them up I would say that, so far as 
ascertained, (i) the fish ?;^ 7/5/ be fresh on arrival at the 
factory ; I cannot sterilise a tainted or even soft fish ; (2) 
they must be gutted, split, and washed ; I have not 
succeeded in sterilising or preserving good-sized whole 
fish when merely gutted, except for a short period ; 
splitting is required so as to open out the tissues for 
the action of the preservative ; (3) that a very few, 5 or 
10, minutes in strong brine makes sterilisation by the 
Hislaire process a certain success, whilst a very small 



H 

addition (o'5 per cent of the weight of the fish) of a 
boric preservative to the salt or brine insures preserva- 
tion for several days ; (4) that one may not count on more 
than 48 hours' preservation if the fish are packed in a 
parcel ; longer if the fish are hung up in an airy place ; 
(5) that the very slight saline fiavour noticed when the 
brined fish is tasted raw, disappears on cooking. The 
o*5 per cent boric preservative, innocuous in itself, 
is well within the limit (o'5 per cent of pure boric acid) 
allowed by the British Departmental Committee for 
mixing with butter, etc., whereas this amount of pre- 
servative which, as sold, is a mixture of boric acid, 
borax, and salt, is merely added as an external 
application of which the greater part remains in the 
brine and wholly disappears in cooking. All working 
details will be given in my new edition of the 
" Preservation and Curing of Fish ". The experiments 
enable fish under the above conditions to be sent up- 
country without curing, and in a better and less 
dangerous condition than if badly packed in insufficient 
ice. Ice is an excellent preservative if the fish is fresh, 
if the ice is pure, if it is sufficient, if the fish and ice are 
properly packed in proper receptacles so that the fish is 
kept continuously below 32° F. ; otherwise I prefer the 
above safe process for brief preservation. The methods 
will be more closely studied next season. 

9. Ordinary salting and drying. — The fish from the 
Ratnagiri boats and, later, from the " Sutherland " 
provided material for ordinary curing work. This was 
successful and the products generally — mere experiments 
excluded — were found not only commercially acceptable 
for Ceylon, but realized in several cases, e.g., mackerel, 
considerably higher prices than ordinary goods ; e.g., 
I sold 30,000 mackerel at Rs. 4-14-0 per 1,000 when 
local wholesale prices were only Rs. 4-2-0. Prices, 
however, are not, at present, fair tests for various 
reasons ; (i) we do not know the fancies of the particular 
markets, e.g., Madras does not care for good fish dry- 
cured and highly salted as for Ceylon ; it desires moister 
goods of a high flavour, and so on ; Ceylon demands 
dry goods but they must be split down the back, and 
have the back- bone cut under and turned over; if 
split down the belly, as is required by gutting at sea, 
they fetch a lower price ; (2) the present salt-fish eating 



15 

public is mostly acquainted with goods of a high 
and even strongly tainted flavour and considers that 
goods perfectly cured and without a suspicion of 
taint are "not up to the mark", an expression used 
in an East Coast market where sardines and mackerel 
"cured" (!) by simple drying without salt and of the 
rankest flavour and cheapest price, were alone in demand ; 
we have to seek and to reach that vast and respectable 
class of the public which at present eats no fish because 
the ordinary salt fish (karuvad) is unpleasant ; these can 
usually aftbrd slightly higher prices for good goods, and 
this will gradually effect a change in curing methods and 
consequently in the goods supplied and accepted. Our 
fish are rather too good, in the way of absence of taint, 
for present demands ; it is the potential demand of a 
better class market that such groods must find. Hence 
the enquiry which my Personal Assistant has begun, as 
further mentioned below, s.v. " Organization." 

A parcel of dry salt fish — cod, haddock, ling, etc., 
was obtained as a specimen from England, and was a 
revelation to curers in its appearance, flavour, etc. I 
have experimentally adopted the Western method of 
splitting the fish by the belly and removing the head and 
most of the backbone ; this greatly improves appearance 
and decreases weight for transport but is, at present, 
objected to by purchasers ; I have also adopted slow 
drying under shade, e.g., in a shed, to avoid the 
discoloration from oil found in all native-cured fish, and 
have recently obtained considerable success. 

lo. Smoking. — The ordinary and easy method of hard 
salting and smoking, found quite successful at Ennore. 
has been more or less discontinued partly from press of 
other work, partly because private persons had taken it 
up ; it will, however, ha-ve to be recommenced and 
developed. In its place light smoking was begun, a 
much more delicate operation ; the products, similar in 
character to the bloater, kipper, and haddock of Great 
Britain, are much more desirable as food, from flavour, 
digestibility, ease of cooking, etc., than hard-salted goods, 
but without proper trade organ'zation cannot be put 
commercially on the market. For fish so treated will 
only keep good for a few days or up to a fortnight at 
most, so that unless there is a certain, regular market 
and fixed demand for the goods, they may easily spoil 



i6 

on the vendor's hands, while, on the other hand, if he 
does not keep a good stock he will be unable to meet 
calls and will disappoint would-be customers. A market 
like Madras might be easily supplied, but those of 
provincial towns would be risky unless a set of customers 
or a regular trade connection has been obtained. 

The experiments have been quite successful so far as 
they have gone but will be carried on next season ; the 
split fish are either salted or placed in saturated brine 
for a short period, drained, and smoked ; the product is 
quite excellent and has delighted customers, to whom the 
method supplies fish not indeed fresh but only slightly 
cured. Full details will be published in my manual. 

II. Sardines as pilchards. — In a letter read in G.O. 
No. 2267, Revenue, dated 17th August 1908, and 
elsewhere, e.g., in my book on the '' Preservation and 
Cure of Fish ", I mentioned the great wastefulness 
shown by the improper or defective utilisation of the 
immense catches of sardine on the West Coast, viz., by 
drying the fish on the beach and sending them away as 
very imperfect manure — largely consisting of coagulated 
oil and sand — to Ceylon, etc., and I proposed to try and 
utilize them more fully as food. I have since ascertained 
that the catches are much larger than I thought, perhaps 
100,000 tons in an ordinary season between September 
and April ; a single supplier at a single port supplied 
last year to a single merchant 600 tons of dried sardine, 
representing perhaps 1,500 tons of fresh fish, to be sent 
as manure to coffee estates. This manure, as prepared 
by the common fisherman, is generally of the poorest 
quality, frequently so devoured by maggots, weevils, etc., 
that little but scales and bone are left ; the smell of the 
beaches shows how much nitrogen is wasted. Only a 
fraction of the fish is turned into food, and much of this 
is simply dried without salt and sent away in tainted 
masses as food to our East Coast. That which is gutted 
is, in order to save time, so wastefully treated that 1,000 
lb. of round ungutted fish yield just 500 lb. of gutted 
fish, the heads and guts being frequently thrown away, 
though sometimes used as manure. 

The chief reason why this excellent fish is thus 
misused is the necessity for great haste if cured. 
The fish when caught are thrown into the boat which 
waits till it has a full load, perhaps for some hours in 



the hot sun, for it is usually a daylight fishery ; the 
heat and the bruising caused by the weight of the 
piles offish, induce rapid decomposition. Hence when 
the fish get to shore they are often in a poor or even an 
advanced condition, and since a ton may contain above 
50,000 fish and labour is scarce, it is impossible to gut 
many fish before complete taint sets in, so that the bulk 
of large catches has, perforce, to be spread on the 
beaches to dry into manure. Hence it became necessary 
to try and cure without gutting ; this is not unusual, for 
in America herring are practically always cured 
'' round," i.e., ungutted ; so also bloaters in England, 
and pilchards which are practically large sardines. The 
pilchard cure was mentioned in all essentials in paragraph 
138 of my book on the curing offish, and Mr. Hornell 
has recently supplied certain details. Accordingly I 
experimented with much success on this mode of cure, 
larore modifications in the Cornish method being neces- 
sary. I find that the sardines can be brought straight 
from the boat, " roused " at once with salt in a large 
trough, and put into the salting tubs, wholly ungutted, 
without any fear of decomposition ; the proportion of 
salt first used was one of salt to three or four of fish, 
but this has been successfully decreased to one to six and 
even one to seven. Fish so treated in December, 
January and February were — w-ith exceptions — perfectly 
good in April; in some cases they were left in their 
brine, in which case a quantity of the oil usually rose to 
the surface and formed an air proof protection unless 
skimmed off as a valuable product ; or they were 
drained of their brine and perhaps repacked in wooden 
cases or kerosine tins with a sprinkling of fresh salt ; 
fish treated in this latter way in December and January 
remained good for months and are attractive in appear- 
ance. Consequently I can now take a ton — canoe 
load — of sardine and make them safe from all danger 
for months at least, by a single hour's work occupied 
in washing, rousing with salt, and placing in the tubs. 
The method is entirely novel in this country and 
successful, but much further practice is required to 
ascertain complete data and the best methods ; these will 
be published hereafter. The fish thus prepared smoke 
excellently, and keep good and savoury for several 
months. 



i8 

As compared with gutted and dried sardine they 
have disadvantages ; they require more salt ; they 
are moist — though not in brine — and consequently 
above twice as heavy, and they require better packing ; 
hence both packing and transport charges are compara- 
tively heavy. Per contra, they provide more and more 
digestible nutriment, while the cost of salt is balanced 
by the absence of the cost and heavy loss of gutting. 
The advantaoe, however, which outweighs all else is 
that by the rapidity and ease of curing any desired 
quantity of sardines may now be turned into good food ; 
under this method it is even possible to take out a large 
boat to the sardine grounds, if at all distant, and place 
the fish at once in salt while at sea. Moreover, they 
can be taken from the tubs at any time and smoked or 
otherwise dealt with. 

On the large scale these pilchard-cured fish can be 
landed in Madras at Rs. 45 to Rs. 50 per ton of cured 
fish, all costs, curers' profit, packing and rail charges 
included, or 50 to 45 lb. per rupee ; hence they can 
there be sold retail at 2 lb. per anna. The cost may 
eventually be somewhat decreased. 

But the method of saltinor unofutted sardine enables 
us to deal with the fish in another way ; by putting the 
fish into salt at 1 to 7 (i lb. salt to 7 lb. fish) any quan- 
tity of fish can be made safe for some days and can be 
taken out at leisure and dried or smoked ; in this way 
while the delay and cost of gutting is avoided, the 
fish, being dried, can be very cheaply packed and 
transported ; this is a middle way between the pilchard 
cure and the present dry cure of gutted fish. 

12. Fish-oil and guano. — But for some years, in the 
absence of rapid curing, sardines will be made into 
fertiliser, and it has been therefore necessary to introduce 
better methods by which the valuable oil should not be 
wasted while the nitrogen and phosphoric acid should be 
fully conserved. The matter was mentioned in para- 
graph 23 of my previous annual report and has now 
been carried a stage further both by Mr. U. Choyi and 
myself. Mr. Choyi has now three presses and has 
succeeded in placing marketable crude brown oil, and 
good guano of 8"3 per cent nitrogen and 7*95 per cent 
phosphoric acid, on the market at remunerative rates. 
My own work was preliminary only, intended to devise 



19 

methods of obtaining better qualities of oil and guano, 
to avoid waste of material and labour, and to utilise waste 
matter. The matter will have to be carried further 
before publication of results, but it may be said at once 
that instead of coarse brown oil I have produced by the 
simplest methods and plant fine yellow oil of the best 
quality, never before obtained on the coast and quite fit for 
use as an edible ; that the largest yield of oil — so large 
that I will \\ait for further experiments before giving 
percentages — was obtained from the guts now mostly 
wasted and which the local curers derided as oil 
producers ; and that I have ascertained the causes of 
considerable waste. 

It may be said from experience that during the 
ordinary season lo tons of fresh sardine at present 
produce 2 tons of dry guano of the constituents given 
above, and i ton, i.e., 10 per cent, of oil on an average 
of fat and moderately fat fish ; the outturn of oil can be 
improved in quality and quantity, but the guano only, if 
at all, in quality. Plant has now been or is being- 
prepared for the thorough examination of this important 
industrial work. 

13. Miscellaneous. — Preliminary experiments in fish 
pastes were begun, and the results warrant developments 
with plant already obtained for the purpose. The use 
for a second and third time of b7^me derived from heavy 
salting has been very successful and effects a notable 
economy ; this is possible because the fish in salt are 
perfectly clean and untainted and the tubs sanitary, so 
that the resultino" brine is gfood ; it is also filtered 
through clean sand, and sometimes wood charcoal, and 
may then be used several times ; such brine has been 
kept quite sweet for a month. Brining with saturated 
brine is found, for some purposes, superior to salt, the 
strength being kept up by loose salt ; a better surface is 
thus given to lightly smoked fish ; a few minutes in brine 
will preserve fish fresh — with a slight saline tiavour 
when raw which disappears in cooking — for a day or two, 
especially if 0*5 per cent of the weight of the fish, i.e., 
I lb. per 200 lb., be added of boric preservative. The 
dirty salt received from the salt pans has been greatly 
improved for fish-curing by a washing with saturated 
brine, and fish cured with this salt are clean from the 
grit and dirty surface which are apt to characterize fish 

2-A 



20 



cured with unwashed salt ; the magnesium and calcium 
salts however are, of course, unaffected by washing, and 
I have had to experiment largely with English salt. It 
has been found that in a tropical climate salt "strikes" 
much harder and more quickly than in temperate 
regions ; British practice is consequently apt to be 
misleading as to the quantity and period of salting. It 
has also been proved by numerous experiments that 
ungutted sardines roused with salt in such small quanti- 
ties as I to 12, I to 1 6, and even i to 20, wmII keep good 
for many hours ; in one case salt at i to 16 preserved the 
fish perfectly for above 36 hours ; hence fish can be kept 
from putrefaction while awaiting gutting, etc. 

14. Utilisation of waste. — Pits were dug at one end 
of the yard and lined with wood, mats, etc. These were 
gradually filled with offal from gutted fish, failed 
experiments, etc., with a modicum of ash from the 
municipal cinerator and of quicklime. The result after 
several months has been a quantity of manure which has 
been dried and bagged ; its analysis has not yet been 
obtained. Except on rare and very temporary occasions 
the presence of such pits in the yard was absolutely 
unnoticeable by the senses, so that we got rid of our 
offal — and much more — not only without nuisance but 
with considerable gain. The quantity of offal available 
in the vicinity is shown by the fact that a wood- lined pit 
holding about 130 cubic feet was filled to the brim in 
one afternoon of large catches with sardine offal from the 
neighbouring gutting places, and much more was avail- 
able. As shown above, however, sardine offal should 
first be boiled for oil before consignment to the manure 
pit, and this has been effected in the Experimental 
Station with very notable results. By the common 
methods of gutting, 10,000 tons of valuable stuff con- 
taining large quantities of oil and fertiliser are available 
for every 20,000 tons of sardine caught ; this as per 
actuals should yield at least 1,000 tons of oil, worth 
Rs. 12 lakhs, besides guano. This at present is almost 
entirely wasted, besides the manure contained in immense 
quantities of other fish offal, fish bones, etc. 

15. Prices of fish f^'esh and czired as ascertained by 
practice at the Experimental Station, etc. — Fish, mostly 
prime, were, according to contract, brought in by the 
Ratnagiri boats at rates w^hich were usually 20 to 25 



2t 

per cent below beach prices ; seer cost just i anna per lb.; 
varian (small seer), valei (Chirocentrus dorab) and 
pomfret (usually black) which formed the bulk of the fish, 
cost Rs. lo, Rs. lo, and Rs. 7 per hundred round fish 
respectively, or about 9^, 7, and 8 pies per lb. Varian 
and pomfret when cured for Colombo sold at the yard 
wholesale at Rs. 16 and Rs. 12 per 100 respectively or, at 
their cured weights, 2 and 2| annas per pound ; valei also 
sold at Rs. 16 or about 1*4 anna per lb., being a larger 
coarser, and more bony fish. Since salt — at fish-curing 
yard prices, viz., 10 annas per maund — and labour charged 
at local rates, cost less than Rs. 2 per 100, there was a 
fair profit ; had the fish been bought on the beach the 
profit would have been small. The additional cost 
of smoking is trifiing, since the labour of placing- fish 
in and removing them from the kiln is about equal to or 
less than that involved in drying the fish during several 
days, while the cost of the chips and sawdust used in 
smoking, is, per pound, infinitesimal. 

16. The cost of mackerel and sardines is very 
different. Mackei-el are sold per 1,000 usually at from 
Rs. 2 to Rs. 3, and ordinarily vveigh round slightly over 
2 cwt,, or 200 lb. when gutted ; dried or smoked they 
weigh 120 to 125 lb., and moist (salted and drained) 
about 165 lb. The usual wholesale price of cured 
(salted and dried) gutted mackerel is about Rs. 4 when 
bought fresh at about Rs. 2 ; the local allowance by 
merchants to curers for salt, at fish-curing- yard rates, is 
4 annas, and labour 4 to 5 annas, per 1,000 ; salt is, 
however, allowed at 8 annas when fish are cured for 
Colombo ; labour includes all operations from the boat 
to the godown, viz., carriage, gutting, application of, but 
not cost of, salt, drying, etc. Hence the cured fish may 
cost Rs. 3 per 1,000, and are sold at Rs. 4 including 
merchants' profit. The Station mackerel however sold 
at Rs. 4-15-0 and Rs. 4-14-0 per 1,000 when fish-curing 
yard mackerel sold at Rs. 4-2-0, so that on nearly 
40,000 a good profit was made ; this was due to their 
soundness and good appearance. Hence 1,000 well 
salted and dried mackerel, weighing full 120 lb., of good 
appearance, absolutely free from taint, and warranted to 
keep for several months, can be sold t',v-yard at Rs. 5, or 
packed in gunny and f.o.r. Cannanore al Rs. 5-8-0, 
these prices giving a good profit, ii salt and labour be 



22 

taken at the rates paid in the fish-curing yards ; at 
ordinary rates for duty-paid salt 8 annas more covers the 
extra cost. A wooden one-dozen case contains just 340 
of such fish, and weighing gross about 52 lb. (40 to 42 lb. 
of fish) can be sold f.o.r. Cannanore for Rs. 2. Salted 
mackerel not sun-dried but simply drained and slightly 
moist, can be similarly sold, but the box averages about 
64 lb. with 54 lb. of fish ; this product will not keep so 
long as sun-dried fish but is otherwise desirable ; the 
charo-e is similar thoucrh labour is less, because more 
salt is used and the fish may be in salt for some days 
till a demand arises. Smoked mackerel, a very good 
product, packs at 300 to the box which, with 34 lb. of 
fish, averages 44 lb. ; the cost is similar ; these fish keep 
a long time, and February cured fish are now (July) in 
good order. 

1 7. Sardines cost, when sufficiently abundant for large 
work, about Rs. 12 or a little less, per ton, taking a large 
canoe load of 5 kallis of between 5 and 6 maunds each, 
as I ton. By the pilchard cure the cost of salt and all 
labour does not exceed Rs. 4 to Rs. 5 per ton of fish (at 
Rs. 2-12-0 for salt at 10 annas per maund, and Rs. 2 per 
ton forlabour) so that the ton of fresh fish costs, when 
cured, Rs. 16 to Rs. 17 in all, and taking i^tons of fresh 
fish to make one ton of cured fish the latter costs Rs. 21 
per ton, or nearly 7 lb. per anna. To this must be added 
the cost of packing cases, usually cheap wooden boxes 
or, for small quantities, kerosine tins with covers. A 
one dozen case costing 4 annas holds 48 to 54 lb. of 
moist, pilchard-cured sardine, so that the fish cost about 
8 annas. If the case be sold f.o.r. Cannanore at Re. i, the 
fish will be sold at 12 annas, giving a profit of about 50 
per cent. A kerosine tin of such sardine weighs 40 lb. 
gross and contains ^']\ lb. of fish ; this can be sold for 
about 12 annas if the tin can be got for 4 annas. 

If, however, these pilchard-cured fish are either 
dried or smoked, the packing charges can be greatly 
reduced ; I hold smoked ungutted sardines, now above 
four months old, which have travelled hundreds of miles 
in a common package, and have been left loose in a box ; 
they are still (July) in excellent condition and flavour, 
and quite unbroken ; these can be sold with a good profit 
at about Rs. 50 to Rs. 55 per ton (equal to nearly 2 tons 
of fresh fish) or 2 J lb. per anna packed in mats, etc., and 



^3 

f.o.r. Cannanore. The pronounced flavour of these 
smoked ungutted sardines is absolutely free from taint, 
and arises solely from the character of the fish and from 
the salt and smoke, combined with the natural oil. The 
Indian consumer should approve of these goods as a 
substitute for tainted fish. 

The above figures assume salt at hsh-curing yard 
rates, viz., lo annas per maund of 82 lb., not at the 
Cannanore Bazaar rates of Rs. i-io-o per maund ; 
also labour at local rates. 

Dried sardines gutted in local fashion were sold at 
the Station at Rs. 3-4-0 to Rs. 3-13-8 per 10,000 
which, in the smaller sizes, represent about one maund. 
Hence the ton of such fish represents 270,000 fish worth 
Rs. 88 to Rs. 103, averaging Rs. 95. But 270,000 
small sardines represent about 5 tons of fresh fish of 
which a full half is lost in oruttinQ- and the resulting 2i 
tons dry into about i ton ; these 5 tons cost about Rs. 60, 
so that after adding about Rs. 5-8-0 being the cost 
of salt on 2^ tons of gutted fish, viz., 8J maunds at annas 
10, and labour, etc., Rs. 12-8-0 for gutting and hand- 
ling 270,000 fish weighing 5 tons when ungutted, or 
Rs. 78 in all, there is a fair profit. The waste of material 
in gutting is here apparent ; it is slightly less with 
larger fish of which 28,000 sometimes go to the ton 
instead of 50,000 or more of small ones. Fish placed 
ung'utted in salt, as now practised at the Station, and 
then dried, were found to weigh 180 lb. per 10, coo and 
36,500 weighing 655 lb. were sold for nearly Rs. 15, or 
Rs. 50 per ton. In this method the ton of dry fish 
represents about 2j tons of fresh fish — dryage being 
the only source of waste — costing Rs. 27 ; salt at i to 6 
on the gross weight cost, at annas 10 per maund, Rs. 
6-8-0, and labour not more than Rs. 4-8-0 at Rs. 2 
per ton since there was no gutting and a less gross 
weight was handled ; hence the cost per ton of dried 
fish was not above Rs. 39, which gives a profit of Rs. 1 1. 
Under the Station system of utilising old brine the 
cost has been decreased and profits improved, whether 
for gutted or ungutted fish. As mentioned above, the 
real profit from the Station method of salting and dry- 
ing without gutting is the ability to save, as tintainted 
food, as many tons of sardines as can be brought 
to shore, whereas the slow and laborious process of 



24 

o'Litting prevents the use of more than a fraction of 
the catches when abundant. 

1 8. Orgaiii%ation of a trade. — The experience of the 
past year enforces the commonplace that if the industry 
and trade are to be seriously developed business know- 
ledge and business organization are necessary prelimi- 
naries ; good products are useless if on the one hand 
they are not acceptable or on the other are not known 
or introduced to the public. 

As regards acceptability , my Personal Assistant, 
Mr. V. Govindan, made a tour of special enquiry 
and has obtained valuable first-hand information and 
facts. He found that existing markets are somewhat 
particular ; the fish-eaters of Madras City seem to 
demand moist fish with light salt, and consequently, a 
certain amount of taint or high flavour ; fish cured as 
for Colombo, viz., well salted, dry, and absolutely free 
from such flavour, are not desired ; apparently it is not 
merely a question of cheap price, but of custom. Not 
only so but in the Tamil districts of the East Coast 
most of the fish seems to be consumed when tainted 
either because of necessity or from preference, more 
probably the former; a large proportion of the supply 
is West Coast fish not good enough for Ceylon, or it 
consists of mackerel and sardines cured absolutely with- 
out salt and undistinsfuishable — sardines — from the fish 
dried on the beaches as manure ; the moist fish has 
little salt and is consequently tainted and maggotty ; the 
fish of the so-called " Madura cure " is soft and pasty. 
Much of this is due to the demand for excessive cheap- 
ness, part to originally defective curing ; the two reasons 
act and react on one another ; the cheapest goods are 
required and these can only be supplied of bad quality ; 
being of bad quality no respectable persons purchase it. 
As an example, the saltless sardines, containing a mini- 
mum of nourishment, are kept on the market until they 
are absolutely unfit for anything except manure ; 
mackerel bought fresh on the West Coast at Rs. 2 per 
1,000 are required to be sold at Rs. 3 per 1,000 in South 
Arcot ; I have been told that Tamil coolies in Ceylon 
used to filch for food portions of the dried sardines used 
on the estates as manure, being so similar to the stuff 
they were accustomed to in India. My Assistant also 
found that the public was quite unaware that " karuvad " 



^5 

(salt fish) could be anythino- but the stufT usually found 
on the market, and actually considered well cured 
untainted fish as "not up to the mark " because it had 
not the accustomed appearance and smell. It is, of 
course, obvious that men who for ages have accepted 
and have come to approve of " high " or rotten goods 
as their only fish supply, will not readily change to 
other and less highly flavoured products. Neverthe- 
less Mr. Govindan considers that the mass are ouided 
largely by cheapness and that if we can supply good pro- 
ducts at equally cheap or cheaper rates, the market will 
readily accept them ; this I think is obvious ; the poorer 
classes will buy in the cheapest market even if the 
products are good. 

19. But there is a far larger and better market to be 
considered, viz., the potential market consisting of the 
immense number of fairly well-to-do persons who would 
eat fish if it were provided of good quality and appear- 
ance even at a slightly increased price. For such per- 
sons I consider that it remains for us to create both the 
supply and the specific taste ; as in Ceylon good dried 
fish have taken the place of bad stuff in the better class 
markets, so we can create a demand for good products 
by supplying good products whether they be dry or moist, 
heavily or lightly salted, plain or smoked, and so on ; the 
prime requisites are good appearance, good natural 
flavour, wholesome food, and reasonable price. Now I 
can provide all these requisites with ease ; as shown in 
paragraph 15 to 17, I can provide fishery products of 
good and even excellent quality at the most moderate 
prices, and even for the poorer classes at rates as low as 
can be desired but without the tainted flavour they seem 
to need, though I can substitute an excellent and pro- 
nounced flavour by good salting and smoking. But 
unless I can put these goods on the market not as casual 
parcels at irregular intervals and in small quantities but 
persistently, habitually, visibly, and in bulk so that all 
may buy, it is impossible to create such market for the 
new goods, and a main lesson of the past year, from my 
own experience and, regrettably, that of others, is that 
it is necessary to take one or two particular localities, 
open a shop at each such locality and keep it supplied 
with really good products ; a locality, for instance, such 
as a large inland town where all social strata are well 



26 

represented. Various enquiries, especially that of my Per- 
sonal Assistant, show that the conditions of the fish trade 
are not at all satisfactory ; as might be inferred from the 
status of the fishing- and curing classes, there is no such 
organization or business power as would enable them to 
hold their own with the up-country wholesale merchants 
who consequently have too much power in their hands 
as reoards both the consiornors from the coast and the 
retailers in the markets ; goods sent from the coast are, on 
receipt, often said to be damaged, or unsuitable for the 
market, etc. etc., and the consignors have to take what 
they can get ; retailers and consumers similarly have to 
buy what the wholesale men choose and at their prices 
which are kept up in various ways ; one merchant in a 
large town suggested the fable that prices were high 
because Europeans have come and swept the West Coast 
with vast copper wire nets many miles long, and sent off 
the fish to Europe so that none were available for inland, 
and so forth. Even when no tricks are played the com- 
mission demanded or the profit expected as wholesalers 
is ruinously large, simply because there is either a mono- 
poly or a ring. Now just as Government is alone able 
to step in and experiment on new methods, so it rests with 
Government to introduce untainted, good, but — on that 
account — novel products to a market hitherto undeve- 
loped ; the wholesale merchants will not risk new products 
or attempt a new market with untried goods, and though 
several agreed to do so, none has actually come forward. 
Hence the necessity for temporary trade, in which 
Government are, as in new catching and curing methods, 
simply pioneers, actually developing a trade and markets 
which do not at present exist and will not exist till so 
developed ; when developed, Government operations 
will cease, and the fish trade obtain the whole benefit of 
the Government pioneer operations. As pointed out 
above, moreover, organization is specially needed in the 
transport and disposal of fish either fresh or lightly 
cured. 

20. Oyster culture. — This experiment, at Ennore, 
alluded to in paragraph 17 of last year's report, was 
again tried in September- December 1909 by the placing 
of fresh tile collectors in reserved area of the backwater ; 
the result was precisely similar to that of 1908 as to the 
time and occasion of the deposit of spat and the growth 



27 

of the young oyster. More than that, on examination In 
March 1910 it was found that the young oysters deposited 
as spat in October 1908 were mature measuring up to 
4^X35- inches, and i| inches in thickness, while the 
flavour was excellent. Hence it is now a demonstrated 
fact that oyster spat can be obtained in abundance by the 
simplest of processes and that the oysters are fully 
marketable in 18 months from spat fall. This matter 
has been fully reported on in Mr. Hornell's two papers, 
on oyster culture at Arcachon and on a proposed oyster 
farm at Pulicat, submitted with my letter No. 233, dated 
the ist July 1910 ; the beginnings of an oyster industry 
are now in sight, and ten years may see it well established 
as a profitable business both in Madras and elsewhere. 

2 I . Pearl and Chank Fisheries. — These were taken 
over from the Collector of Tinnevelly and Port Officer 
of Tuticorin from ist April 1909, and have been worked 
by ** Fisheries " throughout the year. The pearl bank 
inspection begun in March 1909 was concluded in April ; 
no pearl oysters were found. The chank fishery 
continued till May with good results as reported in the 
Superintendent's letter read in G.O., No. 3076, Revenue, 
dated 13th November 1909 ; the proceeds of the fishery 
were 272,841 first sort shells sold at Rs. 99 odd per 
1,000 for a sum of Rs. 27,536 including undersized and 
wormed shells at Rs. 6 per 1,000; deducting the sums 
paid to the divers and cost of management, the net 
proceeds were Rs. 18,397. Mr. V. Govindan, Personal 
Assistant, was in charge from May to November during 
Mr. Hornell's absence in Europe and did good work 
throughout ; from November Mr. Hornell was in charge. 
During the season 1909-10 various concessions 
sanctioned by Government were made to the divers, such 
as the promise of 8 pies per shell instead of 6 for all 
full-sized shells obtained above 3 lakhs ; bad weather 
prevented this concession from coming into operation ; 
a small bonus per canoe was however granted to the 
divers ; a channel was also re-opened so that the boats 
could get close to the chank godown. By the purchase 
of the motor whale-boat " Pearl " received at the end of 
January, considerable aid was given to the divers by 
towing their canoes when calms would otherwise have 
caused entire inability to go to sea ; this happened on 
15 days and she thus enabled the divers to obtain 17,000 



28 

shells, of which the net value to Govet'nmetit was 
Rs. 1,530, which would otherwise have remained 
unfished ; hence she paid half her capital cost in three 
months and greatly assisted as well as profited the 
divers. As a result of circulars, etc., by Mr. Hornell, 
issued to the trade in Calcutta, etc., during the year, 
greatly enhanced prices were obtained at the recent sale 
of the shells, viz., Rs. 121 odd per i.ooo shells above 2^ 
inches in diameter, so that the gross proceeds for 338,661 
shells of all sizes were Rs. 37,217, and net Rs. 26,924, 
being the best for many years ; these figures are given 
here as being the result of the work of the year under 
report, for which full details will be found in the special 
report which accompanies this general one. 

22. Inland. — The work of Mr. Wilson, Piscicultural 
Expert, has been mentioned above, but apart from the 
trout hatchery which is under ihe Collector of the 
Nilgiris, the first piscicultural work placed in operation 
in inland waters was begun during the year, viz., the 
hilsa hatchery at the Lower Anicut leased fishery on the 
Coleroon. This was mentioned as a suggestion in 
paragraph 25 of my last year's report, and was sanctioned 
by Government in G.Os. No. 12 19, Revenue, dated 5th 
May 1909, and No. 2231, Revenue, dated 13th August 
1909 ; work was completed in August, the hatchery 
being placed at the Public Works bungalow at the Lower 
Anicut ; the plant consisted of the usual water tanks, a 
battery of Macdonald hatching jars obtained from 
America by the courtesy of the United States of America 
Fishery Commission, and accessories. Mr. Wilson 
arranged with fishermen for a supply of ripe ova, which 
were fertilised, hatched out in the jars, and passed thence 
into the reception tanks. The high temperature (80° F.) 
of the water at the hatching point, which was a verandah 
of the bungalow, proved a difficulty, so that it was 
necessary to put the fry out into a sheltered and reedy 
spot in the river almost as soon as they were hatched. 
Being the first of a series of hatchino's and conducted 
under previously unknown conditions, nothing can yet 
be predicted as to results in increasing the hilsa supply ; 
it is however now ascertained (i) that hilsa can be 
successfully hatched artificially in large quantities, (2) 
that the period of incubation is on and from the third 
day at a temperature of about 80° F". ; probably this is 



29 

the maximum temperature advisable. Much difficulty 
was found in inducing the fishermen to supply ova, 
especially of a suitable and uninjured character ; this and 
the temperature question will have to be arranged for, 

Mr. Wilson also successfully carried fertilised hilsa 
ova to the West Coast where he deposited many 
thousands of eggs in a part of the Ponnani river in good 
positions such as the fish would select if running up the 
river to spawn ; it will be remembered that at present 
there are no hilsa on the West Coast. 

General. — Much oeneral work, the results of which 
cannot be reported on paper, was done during the 
year, such as the study by Mr. Hornell and myself in 
Europe of motors, boats, fish and oyster culture, fish- 
curing, curing and canning plant, etc., to which may be 
added numerous interviews with business men either for 
obtaininof or for oivino- information. Mr. Wilson's 
chief work has also been that of investigation and the 
preparation of plans as noted above. Correspondence 
has been considerable, and includes enquiries during 
the year from officials in Bengal, Eastern Bengal, the 
Punjab, Bombay, Gwalior, etc., on the matter of fishery 
operations. The stations have been visited by quite 
a number of persons interested, of whom some spent 
several days in studying operations in view to imitation ; 
several persons have started fish-curing as a direct 
consequence of such studies and were at work, though 
not perhaps in a large way, at the end of the year ; the 
representative of a Karachi firm came specially to 
Cannanore, studied the work there going on, and made 
business proposals regarding a supply of cured fish ; 
several firms and individuals of this Presidency have 
also made enquiries, especially as regards the fish-oil 
and guano industry which is likely to develop this 
current year along the lines which I have suggested — 
that of numerous very small factories scattered along 
the coast line — and which Mr, Choyi of Cannanorc has 
been the first to adopt with, I am glad to say, good 
success which I hope to see increased. Several persons 
proposed to come or to send delegates to work as 
regular students in the stations ; two of these actually 
came, one of whom is a young man from Travancore 
with some capital who shaped well during several 
months at Cannanore and will be with me next season. 



30 

My book on the " Preservation and Cure of Fish " 
(G.O. Mis. No, 351, Revenue, dated loth February 
1909) met with some approval, so that the edition was 
exhausted during the year and a further one, embodying 
the resuhs of Madras experience, is called for. 

A large amount of energy, time, and some material 
has been spent on experiment, much of which was only 
useful as showing what not to do ; it requires much 
patience, time, and some money to work out to success 
experiments which often cannot be immediately repeated 
or which last only for a brief season, and which are not 
only wholly novel to the country but have to be carried 
out by inexperienced hands and under conditions 
absolutely different from those of the countries where 
they originally developed ; the results, moreover, though 
often successful, may be found to be unacceptable to the 
existing markets. In a recent American Fishery 
Bulletin it is remarked that " the most valuable branch 
" of the American herring industry is the canning of 
"small herrinsf under the name of sardines. The busi- 
" ness began in 1875, pi-e ceded by six or seven years of 
" experimental worki" etc. So in the middle of the 19th 
century it took the French Government twelve years of 
experimental work at Arcachon merely to revive and 
to place on a new footing the ancient but decadent 
oyster industry. I need hardly say that if in the energetic, 
businesslike States and in the temperate climate of 
Maine, a single branch of fishery work, and that a more 
or less mechanical and well-known one, had to be 
preceded by " six or seven years of experiment," we can 
hardly expect to be more fortunate, more skilful in 
attempting to develop in ways suited to this tropical 
climate and amongst and with these tropical people a 
whole series of fishery operations and products developed 
amidst other conditions and other folk, beginning with 
the fishing net and ending only with the consumer. 



31 

Letter — from Sir F. A. Nicholson, k.c.i.e., Honorary 
Director — Madras Fisheries. 

Dated — Madras, the loth August 19 14. 

I have the honour to submit my general report for 
the year 1910-1 1. 

2. Staff. — This remained as in 1909-19 10, viz., 
myself, Messrs. Wilson, Hornell and W Govindan as 
assistants, two sub-assistants, and subordinates. 

3. U^ork done. — This consisted of operations at the 
Cannanore experimental station with demonstrations on 
the West Coast, the preparation and execution of various 
piscicultural projects, a certain amount of investigation, 
and a considerable amount of educative and stimulative 
work amongst the public and individuals ; these will all 
be detailed below. The chank fisherv, thouoh mentioned 
briefly, is the subject of the usual separate report. 

4. Work done individually. — I continued as Honor- 
ary Director in general charge of operations with special 
charge of the Cannanore experimental station, which, 
this year, took up more particularly the manufactures 
of oil and guano from sardines, continuing, however, 
curing experiments. 

Mr. H. C. Wilson, Piscicultural expert, continued 
his trout work on the Nilgiris, including the successful 
importation at his own expense of a batch of " wild 
trout" late in the year; also the conservation of the 
upper waters of the Moyar and Bhavani. The Sunke- 
sula fish farm scheme was under construction, several 
large tanks were stocked, and other projects, notably the 
Kanigiri reservoir (Nellore) project, have been worked 
out and either sanctioned or sent up to Government. 
Mr. Wilson's advice has also been sought from other 
provinces by various people and associations — see below 
s.v. " Pisciculture." 

Mr. J. Hornell, f.l.s., continued as Superintendent 
of the Pearl and Chank Fisheries and as Marine Assist- 
ant, the dual service giving" abundance of work. His 
report (Bulletin No. 5) on oyster culture at Arcachon 
and its lessons for India was characterized by Government 
as " a very valuable and practical piece of work." This 
report was based on a long personal visit to Arcachon 
when on furlough in 1909, and has resulted in a practi- 
cal scheme for oyster culture now in actual operation at 



32 

Pulicat. A second report (Bulletin No. 6) on " Marine 
Fish Farming," also based on his tour in France and 
Italy, is before Government. He visited Bengal and 
Eastern Bengal on chank service and has reported 
results and made suggestions now before Government, 
while a further report on the technical and artistic aspects 
of the industry has been in active preparation. His 
advice on many practical matters especially regarding 
the proposed Inspection .Schooner, fishing possibilities, 
etc., has been of great value to myself and to enquirers. 

Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., f.z.s., continued as my Personal 
Assistant and rendered extremely valuable service of a 
character which, perhaps, only himself, as an Indian 
thoroughly acquainted with the fisher-folk, their work, 
and their needs, and deeply interested therein, could fully 
render, viz., in conversing and arguing familiarly with 
the various classes, informing and persuading them 
regarding new methods of fishing, curing, manufactur- 
ing, and co-operating, as well as in ascertaining and 
reporting their needs, ideas, objections and difficulties ; 
he has also carried out demonstrations of a practical 
character in the fish-oil and guano business, and much 
of the success which is attending the development of 
this new industry is due to him. He has also directly 
assisted me in the numerous details of my work as 
Director. 

Cannanore Experimental Station. 

5. The main operations carried on here were — 

(i) the preparation of dried salt fish of superior 
quality ; 

(2) the treatment offish, large and small, by pick- 
ling ; 

(3) the preparation of lightly cured fish ; 

(4) miscellaneous ; 

(5) the manufacture offish-oil and guano from the 
oil-sardine {C/npea longiceps). 

6. Dried salt fish. — The fish was mostly obtained, 
as in 1909-10, by hiring two Ratnagiri boats. The 
season, October to Decen^ber, was extremely bad for 
driftnet fishing owing to the protraction of the south-west 
monsoon ; the two boats fished for only 49 and 42 days 
respectively and obtained only 22,307 lb. (10 tons) of 



33 

clean (gutted) fish, whereas in 1909, they fished for 
about 20 days for a local merchant and 43 days for the 
station, catching during the latter 43 days, 38,000 lb. of 
round fish (besides their food and other fish) or nearly 
33,000 lb. of clean fish of which the prime portion was 
larger than in the present year, and the total value of 
the catches was Rs. 1,600. The total amount paid this 
year for 22,307 lb. clean fish was Rs. 866 which works 
out at about 7*4 pies per lb. or practically 6*5 pies per 
lb. for round (ungutted) fish, allowing about 15 per cent 
for gutting. Only 55 per cent was prime fish (seer, 
medium and small seer and pomfret) and the rest was 
coarse fish including catfish and small shark. The 
boats also retained enough of their catches for their own 
consumption and some — a little — for carrying home at 
the end of the season. The largest catch in one day by 
the two boats was 2,101 lb. of gutted fish valued at 
Rs. 71. 

7. Pickling. — Pickling, i.e., salting in barrels for sale 
as wet fish, is a method new to this country ; it was not 
fully carried out owing to the impossibility of obtaining 
proper barrels, absurd prices being asked for unsuitable 
articles. The matter will again be taken up. But a 
quantity of varian, pomfret, and mackerel were placed in 
open, roughly lidded boxes and tubs, in one to three salt 
(1 lb. salt to 3 lb. offish) as in western countries, and are 
perfectly good at the time of writing (June) though laid 
down in January and February ; some of the surface fish 
had become slightly pink, but the fish are all good and 
are available for sale, and are being used successfully 
for freshening and smoking, etc., during the monsoon 
when dried fish is hardly procurable. 

8. Light or mild cured fish. — This highly important 
experiment was developed,; the object is to place on the 
inland market an article so lightly cured as to be a sub- 
stitute for fresh fish which is, at present, unattainable 
except in a few places where a high-price demand is so 
considerable {e.g., Ootacamund, Bangalore, etc.) that it 
pays to ice fish ; the light cured article is for general 
consumption. By a new method wholly free from the 
use of preservatives, fish can be sufficiently cured to be 
a fair substitute for fresh fish, only slightly saline, and 
good for a week ; if smoked the fish is an excellent sub- 
stitute for smoked haddock, Parcels of such fish both 



34 

unsmoked and smoked, have been repeatedly consumed 
by myself and friends with satisfaction more than a 
week after despatch from the station and frequently four 
days en route. By the end of next season the experi- 
ment will be developed sufficiently for publication ; at 
present the mode of packing, almost as important 
in this country as the curing, requires study and ex- 
periment. But, as stated last year, the sale of such 
fish requires thorough organization, since the supply and 
demand must be so adjusted that there shall never be a 
stock long on hand ; it must be sold almost immediately. 
If my experiments prove as successful as they promise, 
a very wide market and large demand should follow. 

9. Miseellaneotis. — This includes further experi- 
ments in Tuashing salt ; the ordinary salt, as supplied to 
the fish-curing yards, has so large a proportion of dust, 
mud, sand, small shells, etc., that it is useless to attempt 
first class curing with it ; the cleanest fish eat gritty. By 
washing the salt in a sieve in a tub of semi-saturated brine, 
an operation which a girl can carry out alone at the rate of 
a maund per 20 minutes, and draining and drying the 
washed salt, a very good and clean article is obtained with 
a loss of something like 10 per cent of which about half 
is mud and rubbish. This raises the price of a maund 
from 10 to about 11 annas. The salt is then almost as 
good as British duty-paid salt as regards cleanness, but 
seems inferior as regards contents of sodium chloride. 

Old brine obtained in salting superior fish such as 
varian, seer, pomfret, mackerel, etc., has been largely used 
in brining sardines and other thin and small fish. Our fish 
is so clean that the brine is perfectly good ; it has been 
used either filtered — through sand and charcoal, etc. — or, 
latterly, boiled ; it is found that an addition of about one- 
third further salt brings the brine back to saturation and 
keeps up its strength during brining. This, therefore, 
represents a gain of two-thirds of the salt used in salting 
sardines, etc., while the sardines gain a flavour which is 
distinctly appreciated by purchasers. But the method 
can only be practised safely when all the conditions of 
cleanliness are observed. 

Attempts have been made to lessen the dangers 
irom Jlies. In Virginia (United States of America) and 
probably in other States, no factory dealing in fish is 
allowed to carry on business in the fly season unless all 



36 

operations are conducted within fly-proof rooms. My 
drying- scafYolds and flakes readily admit of being covered 
with mosquito net and this is found to protect the fish 
during the moist stage. The method will be developed 
next season. 

Canning was not begun ; a suitable building has, 
however, been rented, and the plant has been set up ; 
by the courtesy of Messrs. T. Stanes & Co. of Coimba- 
tore, to whom thanks are due, two artisans (both now 
qualified as engine drivers) were trained at their Coffee 
Works in the making of cans ; they have been practising 
with our plant, and as a large quantity of tin plate, oil, 
etc., is now on hand, I hope to start next September. 

lo. Fish-oil and fish gnano. — Amain object pursued 
at the station during the seasonwas the preparation offish- 
oil and fish-guano from the oil-sardine \Clupea longiceps). 
A detailed paper is being drawn up on the subject and 
only salient points will here be mentioned. Above 30 
tons of fresh sardine and sardine offal were used in the 
experiments; all parcels offish, fuel, etc., were weighed, 
as also the resulting products, and the various weigh- 
ments reoistered, so that accurate data were obtained. 

The object of the experimental work was as follows : 
sardines in many thousands of tons have long been dried 
whole on the beach for manure ; by this rude process 
not only is the whole of the oil dried up and utterly 
wasted and lost, but, as it coagulates, it firmly aggluti- 
nates to the fish a large quantity of sand, so that the 
article frequently shows 30 per cent and more of sand, 
and moreover much of the nitrogen is lost by putrefaction, 
while occasionally, as during this last season, immense 
quantities drying on the beach are wholly lost by inoppor- 
tune rain. Hence the planter buys a quantity of coagu- 
lated oil which is worse than useless, and twice the 
quantity of sand ; as expressed in a report from Ceylon, 
enough sand is sent to restore Adam's Bridge. In some 
few cases there has been a small manufacture of oil, by 
boiling in ordinary earthen chatties, in which case the 
residue is thrown away ; or the fish was allowed to 
putrefy in vessels and the oil skimmed off and the foul 
residue thrown away or buried as a nuisance ; in some 
places and months the guts obtained in gutting the fish 
for food have been used as manure, in which case the 
valuable oil is lost, Hence in every way the gravest 

3-A 



loss and waste, while the process of putrefying or of 
beach-drying is sanitarily offensive. If only 50,000 tons 
— a low estimate — are annually dried on the beach, the 
oil thus totally lost is something like 6,000 tons, worth 
about 10 lakhs of rupees, and if only 2 per cent of the 
nitrogen is lost by putrefaction and the ravages of 
maggots and insects, there is a further loss of about 2 
lakhs. Hence it has been sought to minimize this loss, 
improve the products, and remove a sanitary nuisance 
by devising new methods of dealing with the sardine. 

Under the new system the fish (or guts) are boiled 
in open pans over a fire, and the boiling stuff is then 
pressed for oil ; the pressed scrap is dried in the sun and 
forms guano ; in this way, the w^hole of the oil is obtained 
as a very valuable marketable product, while the fish 
(tissues and bone) are reduced to a friable mass one-fifth 
of the weight of the green fish and readily assimilable as 
manure, w^hile the process is absolutely inoffensive and 
free from sanitary objection. This process was devised 
in 1908 by "Fisheries" from the example of the 
American farmers, etc., and urged upon the public ; it 
was first taken up in 190S by Mr. U. Choyi of Cannanore, 
and during the past season was the subject of much 
experiment in the station, and of commercial work by a 
number of interested persons. The season began with 
one and ended with about nine small factories in 
operation ; moreover, quite a large number of persons 
have ordered boilers and presses, and it is expected that 
many more than the above nine works will be opened 
by the beginning of next season in September. As 
mentioned above, much of this is due to the propagandist 
work of my Assistant, Mr. V. Govindan, who rested not 
in pushing a knowledge of the process, and in demon- 
strating and in aiding people to obtain plant ; meanwhile 
useful work also went on at the experimental station. 

II. As produced in the minute factories, consisting 
of, perhaps, a couple of open boiling pans each holding- 
half or two-thirds of a ton of fish, and three or four 
simple screw presses, the oil is dark brown in colour, of 
strong but not unpleasant smell, and containing a large 
percentage of stearine or fish tallow. No attempt is 
made to secure a finer oil ; the boiling mass is scooped 
out into baskets, allowed to drain for a few minutes, then 
placed in coarse coir bags and pressed ; the oil and water 



^7 

run into a pit where they separate, when the oil is 
dipped out, placed in an open pan and boiled to drive 
oft' any remaining water ; the product is then barrelled. 
The pressed cakes are broken up and placed on mats in 
the sun, where the stuft" dries ; when dry it contains 
below 5 per cent of moisture and is then bagged. The 
price obtained at the factory for oil is about Rs. i6o per 
ton of about 250 gallons [6^^ kerosene tins), at which 
price the middleman — usually a European firm — 
supplies casks and takes the cost of transport ; this is 
for the crude oil with its stearine. The o-uano fetches 
at the factory about Rs. jo per ton and should have 
about 8'5 per cent of nitrogen and something higher in 
phosphoric acid. 

12. In the experimental station efforts have been 
made to separate the oil into two qualities, viz., fine 
yellow and ordinary brown. It was found that when the 
mass is heated in the boiling pan most of the oil speedily 
rises to the surface and can be skimmed off; this product 
is of a fine light or bright yellow, with very slight smell. 
After skimming, which produces about two-thirds of the 
whole oil obtained, the mass runs into draining boxes 
and thence is taken to the presses. Enquiries from 
Europe, of which I have had about 40, show an enormous 
demand for fish oil, and many of the enquiries, as well 
as specimens sent to me, show a large demand for the 
fine yellow oil of which the price is much higher than 
the brown oil ; a single leather factory has specially 
asked me to supply several thousand gallons of this fine 
oil, observing that the leather produced by the use of a 
sample was particularly good ; firms in Hamburg, 
Australia, etc., also specially enquire after this oil. The 
experiments will be renewed next season on a better 
scale and with better method ; fo?' the present, the 
simplest and most remunerative plan for the small 
factories is to produce the ordinary brown oil without 
troubling about the finer qualities ; the method is 
cheap, very simple, and free from all technicalities, and 
there is so Q^reat a demand for this crude brown oil that 
it may be called unlimited and cannot be in any way 
satisfied even by the whole potential produce of the 
West Coast. Among other experiments tried at the 
station was an attempt to devise a method for cottage 
operations, acting on a hint derived from Mangalore 



3S 



where a few people boil the fish for the oil in earthen 
chatties but throw azvay the soHd materials ; a small 
battery of chatties was tried with considerable success, 
but the chatties not infrequently break, resulting in some 
loss. Next season experiments will be tried with small 
metal chatties and a cheap lever press, so that persons 
v«ith only Rs. lo or Rs. 20 may utilize surplus sardines to 
advantage. 

13. From work at the station, I am able now to give 
accurate data — for the late season only — as to outturn 
and cost, and to show the big profits obtained. The 
register kept shows the weight and cost of each parcel of 
fish or guts, the amount of labour spent in producing 
therefrom the oil and guano, the weight and cost of fuel 
used, and the outturn in oil and guano. What is true, 
however, of one season is not necessarily so of another ; 
the fish dift^er largely in fat contents in different seasons, 
and while in 1909 the very fattest were obtained in 
March, those of March 19 10 were almost useless as 
oil producers. Roughly speaking, 15 per cent of the 
weioht of the raw fish can be obtained as crude oil from 
September to February inclusive, and 20 per cent as 
dry guano. This is for whole fish ; if only " guts," 
which includes head, intestines, and a small part of the 
tissues, are used, the oil is about or above 15 per cent 
and the guano 18 or 19 percent. 

The figures for whole fish work out somethino- as 
follows : — 

Expefises. 

RS. 

Ten tons green fish at Rs. 11 per ton ... ... no 

Labour in boiling and pressing ... ... ... 8 

Labour in drying guano, etc. ... ... ... 6 

Fuel at 160 lb. wood por ton of fish ... ... 6 

Depreciation at 5 per cent on Rs. 300 ... ... 15 

Etceteras (interest, leakage, labour in filling and 
transporting casks, bagging, wages of maistries, 

etc.) ... ... 15 

160 

Receipts. 

Oil at 15 per cent = i| tons at Rs. 160 per ton ... 240 
Guano, two tons at Rs. 70 ... ... ... 140 

Total ... 3S0 

Deduct expenses ... 160 

Net profit ... 220 



.-3 



-1 



9 



The cost of fish is often less than Rs. 1 1 per ton ; 
depreciation at 5 per cent, is a high allowance on three 
or four days' use of the simple plant. But if the ex- 
penses for labour and fuel are 50 per cent higher than 
as above, which, however, are abstracts in round figures 
from my register, the rate of profit is surprising. If 
the outturn in oil be taken as low as 12^ per cent or i^ 
tons, value Rs. 200, the profit is still remarkable. It 
will be seen that in any case the oil, hitherto lost, far 
more than pays all expenses, leaving the guano, at least, 
as clear profit. 

Fish are, of course, not always procurable as the 
shoals are very mobile, and the little factories are there- 
fore partly idle for many days in each month of the 
season ; this — apart from the socio-economic question — 
is the reason why small factories, worked by small folk, 
are preferable to large central factories, the success of 
which is highly problematical especially in a tropical 
climate where fish cannot be brought from even moder- 
ate distances to a central factory without putrefaction 
setting in. Moreover, in these petty factories, the bulk 
of the labour is only engaged as needed, so that the 
running expenses on non-working days are inconsider- 
able. As repeatedly stated from 1908 onwards, the 
method advocated is that of hundreds of petty factories, 
each costing a few hundred rupees, scattered along the 
coast, producing oil and guano whenever possible, and — 
until co-operative societies are formed, which is our 
aim — selling their produce to middlemen who will lump 
the several parcels, and sell to the consumer practically 
uniform products under a guarantee of intrinsic value. 
This postulates middlemen — firms employing agents and 
dubashes, or well-to-do individuals, etc. — who will take 
the trouble to perambulate the coast, stimulating the 
small producer by advice and, if necessary, advances, 
controllinof their methods and the character of their 
produce, and concentrating such produce in their own 
godowns. 

14. In the experimental station the manufacture of 
oil and guano was also combined with that of edible 
food from the same individual sardines. The local 
method of gutting is to push the sardine slantwise 
against the edge of a knife held in the toes of the 
operating woman seated on the ground (in our station 



46 



this is a clean cement floor), so that slightly over half 
the fish, Including the head and all intestines from the 
vent upwards, is removed at one stroke leaving solid 
flesh as the other half; it is possible — as frequently 
timed — to gut 40 fish per minute in this way. The guts 
contain more fat than the tissues, layers of white fat 
being readily visible. In 1,000 lb. of fish the guts 
portion may weigh 520 lb., and the tissue portion 450, 
the remainder being wastage (blood, fluid from guts, 
etc.). The guts thus separated were boiled and pressed 
in the usual way ; a good deal more oil, sometimes 
reaching about 20 per cent of the gross weight of the 
guts, was usually obtained, but the percentage of guano 
was less since much of the p^uts is useless veo-etable 
matter combined with mud. The oil w^as generally of 
very fine quality, since it separates easily and rapidly in 
the boiling pan and can be skimmed off as a pale yellow 
product ; the guano is somewhat less rich in nitrogen 
than whole-fish guano, but more so in phosphoric acid. 

The tissue half of the fish was treated as usual, viz., 
by placing in salt at i to 8 or in saturated brine from 
other fish. 

Hence the balance sheet is something as follows, as 
ascertained from my registers : — • 



Expenses for oil and guano. 

Ten tons at Rs. 11 per ton 

Labour for gutting at Rs. \\ per ton 

Do. for boiling and pressing 517 tons of guts 

Do. for drying, etc. 
Fuel at 160 lb. per ton for 5^ tons 
Depreciation and repairs at 4 per cent on 

Rs. 300 ... 
Etceteras ... 



RS. 

1 10 

15 
5 
4 
4 

12 
10 



160 



Expenses for edible portion. 

Salt for 4i tons fish at i to 8, say 16 maunds at 

10 annas 
Labour in salting, drying, etc., 4! tons wet fish ... 



10 
10 

20 



Total of all expenses 



180 



41 

Receipts for oil and guano. 

Oil at 1 6 per cent on 5^ tons, nearly f of a ton at ks. 

Rs. 160, say ... ... ... ... ... 135 

Guano at 18 per cent on 5^ tons, nearly i ton at, 

say, Rs. 65 55 

Total ... I go 



Receipts for edible portion. 
Two and a quarter tons dry sardine at Rs. 90, say 200 

Grand total of receipts ... 390 
Z'^i//^/ expenses ... 180 

Net profit ... 210 

Hence the profit is practically the same as when whole 
sardines are boiled, with the advantage that nearly half 
the weight of fish is retained as direct food. The profit 
depends largely on the rate at which the edible portion 
is sold as food, here entered as only Rs. 90 per ton ; 
since most of the inedible parts are removed and about 
two-thirds of the useless moisture, the somewhat oily 
dried fish are nearly solid food, and this food, if sold at 
8 pies per lb., would fetch Rs. 93 per ton ; much of the 
station sardine has been sold at prices about Rs. 90. 
Moreover, in one way our expenses for salt were 
less than stated, since boiled or filtered brine from other 
fish was used , per contra the salt was either washed or 
was English salt ; the rate charged in the above table is 
what it would cost an ordinary fish-curing yard curer. 
It will be seen that all expenses are paid by the oil and 
guano, so that the proceeds of the edible fish are solid 
gain. Allowing that 10 tons of fish dry on the beach 
into 4 tons of sand-free manure (I have seen quantities 
which are mere shells), these dried fish, if costing when 
fresh Rs. 100, would, at an average of Rs. 30 per ton, 
fetch only Rs. 120 ; even 5 tons would fetch only Rs. 150. 
The real profits are made out of the i^ tons of sand 
which adhere to the 5 tons of fish, so that the gross 
return is Rs. 195 or a profit of Rs. C55. Hence not only 
is the profit far smaller, but the wastage of oil and 
nitrogen and the addition of sand are almost criminal. 
For further details my paper must be referred to. 



4^ 

15. Towards the end of the year Government 
sanctioned further experiments in a somewhat enlarged 
and improved factory which, Hke the present one, will 
serve as an example and place of research and instruc- 
tion for those who seek to operate on a slightly larger 
scale and by more rapid methods, especially for the 
production of fine oil. 

16. Assuming the total present annual catches of oil 
sardine on the West Coast to be 100,000 tons, which is 
probable enough from data in my possession, the 
obtainable oil at only 10 per cent of the green weight 
(allowing for food consumption and for months in which 
oil is small and very small in quantity) would be 
10,000 tons, value Rs. 16 lakhs, now practically thrown 
away except that portion which is consumed as food in 
the fresh fish; add, say, 15,000 tons of guano worth 
10 lakhs, and it will be seen that a considerable business 
is developing and one well worth the attention of 
middlemen who will promote small factories and buy up 
their produce. A single Ceylon merchant states that 
he will take 5,000 tons of guano per annum, and the 
market for oil is unlimited and clamorous for oil, for the 
paint and colour trade, for jute batching, leather working, 
soap making, steel tempering, and other industries. 
The receipt of above 40 letters from the trade in Great 
Britain and Europe in general, following on a small 
paragraph in the Board of Trade Journal, shows the 
readiness of the market for oil. It is to be remembered 
that the catches can be largely increased if there is an 
effective demand for the fish. 

17. Fishing boats. — The fishing boat "Sutherland," 
built for work on the East Coast, was tried at Cannanore 
during the season, but proved much too slow for the 
light winds of the West Coast fishing season ; the 
experience of this season confirms that of last, viz., that 
the Ratna^iri boats are the best for the West Coast. 
There were also difficulties as regards crew, over whom 
supervision could not be maintained in the absence of a 
reliable master who would skipper the boat ; this is 
impossible on so small a boat. The boat is too big for 
small work and not nearly big enough for large work. 
She was accordingly sent to Tuticorin for other work. 

18. The "Turbinella," motor fishing boat, nearly 
twice the tonnage of the "Sutherland" and having a 



43 

15 horse-power Dan engine, was lent to the Pearl and 
Chank Department at Tuticorin for use in the absence 
of a survey and dredging boat. She occasionally fished, 
however, and though her nets were very small and 
insufficient, she attracted attention by catching seer in 
fair quantities in her nets, a result never before seen at 
Tuticorin, insomuch that the fishermen borrowed her 
nets on a quarter-share basis, and attempted to use 
them ; owing, however, to the feebleness of their boats 
the result was disappointing. 

19. The prices obtained by auction for the station 
fish were higher than those of ordinary cures ; for fish 
supplied to the jails and for the few outside parcels, I 
found that after charging for salt, labour, etc., at con- 
siderably higher rates than those obtaining in the local 
trade, a charge of 50 per cent on the cost of fresh fish 
gave, as a rule, a 20 per cent profit, e.g., I paid the 
Ratnagiri boats on contract Rs. 10 per 100 for fresh fish 
and charged Rs. 15 for the cured fish, this was con- 
siderably higher than local rates which were about 
Rs. 13-8-0. I found, in fact, that by fixing Rs. 15 as 
my reserve price at auctions, I was unable to sell any 
except prime parcels. Since 20 per cent is the profit 
on a transaction in which capital was turned over in a 
few days or so and not once in a year, it is a high 
rate ; probably the local trade is content with 10 per 
cent on the transaction which, with them, lasts but a 
week; Rs. 13 to Rs, 13-8-0 cannot give much more 
than a ten per cent profit. I note, from recent trade 
journals, that the wholesale fish merchants in the United 
States of America are content with or obtain profits 
cut very fine ; " fish, for instance, are handled by the 
big New York fishermen at a profit of one-quarter 
cent (i-| pies or a half farthing) a pound," or 4 per cent 
if the wholesale price is only 6 cents per pound. 

Dried and gutted sardines were sold at about Rs. 85 
to 90 per ton, or less than 8 pies per lb. of dry food. 
As explained in paragraph 14 supra the whole of this 
was clear gain in cases where the expenses were paid 
by the oil and guano derived from the guts of the same 
individual fish. But even putting aside oil and guano, 
a rate of Rs. 93 (8 pies per lb. of dry gutted fish) 
gives good profit, e.g., five tons of small sardine, when 



44 

oil is In small quantity, gut and dry into something* over- 
one ton of marketable fish, or 270,000 at 54,000 per 
ton. These five tons cost at most Rs. 55, gutting 
(Rs. 7--8-0), salt (for 2^ tons, at i to 8, Rs. 6-8-0) and 
labour for drying and storing (Rs. 5), cost Rs. 19, cost of 
packing 21 or 22 cwt. in date-mat parcels of one hundred 
weight each, is Rs. 6 ; total cost Rs. 80. This weight will 
readily sell for Rs. 96, giving a profit of Rs. 16, or 20 
per cent on Rs. 80. If a rate of nine pies (three-fourths 
anna) per lb. is charged or Rs. 105 per ton, the profit is 
very heavy, especially as the whole transaction, from 
catch to sale, need occupy only a week or less. At this 
moment (July) ordinary native- cured dried sardines are 
selling at Cannanore at Rs. 125 per ton, so that curers 
who can hold over a stock and keep it in good order, 
earn large profits. To the price obtained for the fish 
must be added the value of something over 2^ tons of 
guts, available as manure ; these will dry into something 
less than one ton, worth Rs. 25 per ton at only 2 per 
cent nitrogen and 10 per cent, phosphoric acid. These 
guts, with or without oil, have been generally neglected 
hitherto in considering profits ; in the villages they are, 
or till lately have been, mostly thrown away ; at certain 
seasons they are used, to some extent, for tobacco, 
cocoanut trees and cucumber crops, but as a rule they 
are largely wasted, and always contain at least 30 per 
cent of sand ; when sold they fetch, at most, one anna 
per basket containing about an Indian maund. The 
proper utilisation of offal has already been the subject 
of experiment, but required much more attention both, as 
an item of immediate profit to the curers, and a general 
economic benefit. 

20. Reading the above with the report of last year, 
it is clear that there is good profit in the fish trade if 
properly organized so as to sell really superior products 
at a price very slightly above the price of the ordinary 
cured fish to the immense potential market of people 
willing to pay such slightly higher price for a good 
article. Such fish cannot compete in piHce with the 
native-cured fish in which, for instance, in mackerel 
Rs. 3 per 1,000 when fresh, they are sold cured at Rs. 4 
to Rs. 4-2-0 which includes the cost of all labour, salt, 
and profit, while a superior article cannot be sold under 
Rs. 4-8-0, though at Rs. 4-120 to Rs. 5 there is'a good 



45 

profit ; at Rs. 4-8-0 per 1,000 fresh fish, Rs. 0-8-0 for 
dried fish should be a full, and Rs. 7 a high price. But 
native-cured fish is apt to be tainted, is certainly produced 
under less sanitary and cleanly conditions than station 
fish, and. in any case, the salt used is the unwashed 
Government salt containing a good deal of sand and 
mud, so that the article is necessarily somewhat gritty. 
In the supply to jails where the consumers live in 
abnormal conditions, it is well to be certain that the fish 
supplied is thoroughly wholesome and prepared under 
the best conditions. 

21. The experience of the year confirms the views 
indicated in paragraphs 18 and 19 of my last year's 
report, viz., the necessity for exploiting the potential 
better-class market if the fishery industry and trade as a 
whole are to be developed and faulty methods and goods 
eliminated. The difterence between the cost of ordinary 
karuvad (dried salt fish) and of similar fish cured in afar 
better and more sanitary manner, is much less than one 
pie per pound ; e.g., mackerel costing ordinarily Rupees 
4-20 or Rs. 4-4-0 per 1,000 dried fish weighing 120 lb. 
may cost Rs. 4-8-0 when cured by better methods, viz., 
one anna extra for clean and pure salt, two annas for 
extra labour, one anna for interest, etc., on respectable, 
sanitary plant ; this extra four annas means only the 
difference between 6'8 and 7*2 pies (o"4 pies per lb.) ; 100 
varian (small seer) weighing dry, say, 130 lb., cost, say, 
Rs. 12 and Rs. 12-8-0, respectively, the extra cost 
meaning a difference of three-quarters of a pie on about 
As. 1-6 per lb. But this extra half or three-quarters pie 
means a very great difterence in the class of goods, and 
if the difterence is made up to one pie by attractive 
packing, there can be no doubt but that such goods 
would find an immense market in tens of thousands 
of respectable households where ordinary karuvad is 
taboo because of its bad appearance, " high " flavour, 
and faulty food character. Since, by a wellknown rule, 
the additional cost would be more than recouped by 
the sellers, the extra profit, in addition to the greatly 
increased market, would induce the curers to follow the 
improved rather than the traditional methods ; without 
such market, ready and anxious to pay a slightly higher 
price for a much better article, the ancient methods, 
sufficing the ancient markets, will continue. In other 



46 

words the development of the market must synchronize 
with the development of method. 

22. Nothing much was done this year in ascertain- 
ing the conditions and tastes of the various markets, 
except that, as above stated, three jails were supplied 
with the specific purposes of ascertaining the character 
of the supply required, and of popularizing, e.g., amongst 
the warders and others, articles somewhat superior to 
the ordinary beach of fish-curing yard article. This 
small branch of the trade has now been actually created, 
and it is open for others to take it up. Correspondence 
was opened by a firm in Hongkong in view to purchase 
for the Chinese market, and a large sample was sent ; 
the result was not very satisfactory as the station produce 
had not the stronof hig-h flavour of the articles demanded 
by Chinese taste as witnessed by specimens received from 
Hongkong. Parcels were also bought by a Rangoon 
merchant, but without a proper business organization 
it is not desirable to enter distant markets especially 
when the Indian market is at our doors. Rangoon 
prices, however, are good and are well worth the atten- 
tion of the reo-ular trade. 

In the matter of oil and guano a good deal has been 
done not merely in fostering the new methods, but in 
ascertaining markets. But while the output is so small, 
it is difficult to get hold of really good markets at good 
prices ; e.g., a large British firm will not look at a parcel 
of oil of less than, perhaps, 250 tons (as per letters 
actually received), and it is difficult for producers of 10, 
20, or even 50 tons pcj' animm to get into touch with 
such a demand. The shortsighted and jealous idea of 
the few present manufacturers is to keep others from 
entering the business, whereas it is only when a hundred 
small factories are at work that the business will be 
worth the attention of the large dealers ; without plenty 
of produce there will be little or no competition by 
buyers, and manufacturers will have to take low prices. 
When the total coast produce is too tons, it is hardly 
worth the consideration or time of respectable firms ; 
when it gets to 1,000 tons there will be competition by 
purchasers, and the manufacturers will get full market 
prices. It is to be remembered that the world market, 
and even that of India, is practically unlimited owing to 
the vast demands of the numerous industries, so that 



47 

prices cannot be in the least affected by the addition of 
one or two thousand tons per annttm, or even of five 
thousand ; hence the entry of even a hundred small 
manufacturers into the business cannot lower prices but 
must improve them for the local manufacturer by bring- 
ing in tne purchasing competition of larger markets and 
buyers. Hence the department has worked to induce 
(i) an extended manufacture, (2) the entry of reputable 
firms as promoters of these small factories and as buyers ; 
also to foster the idea of co-operation rather than of 
jealousy amongst the manufacturers, so that they may be 
able to combine their several outputs and place on the 
market large parcels of uniform and steady quality worth 
the attention of the big purchasing firms. The Agricul- 
tural department has also approved highly of the new fish 
guano and is likely to push its use, by example and 
precept, among our ryots. It may here be usefully 
mentioned that specimens were obtained of the fish oil 
used by 11 jute mills in Calcutta; the oil appears very 
similar to our ordinary brown oil, but while the latter 
costs Rs. 6 per Indian maund or about Rs. 8 free of 
stearine, the prices for the oil in use were Rs. 8-8-0 
to Rs. 14 per maund ; hence there appears to be a huge 
market in Calcutta for our oils. The demand of a 
leather factory for fine oil has been mentioned in para- 
graph 1 3. 

Pisciculture. 

23. Marine pisciculture. — A notable experiment was 
begun during the year in oyster-culture based upon 
Mr: Hornell's encfuiry in 1909 at Arcachon. In the 
two previous years' reports the extraordinarily rapid 
development of the oyster in the experimental bed at 
Ennore was noticed. Hence a small culture farm, on the 
Arcachon pattern, was laid down at Pulicat which, in 
1908, was ascertained to have suitable localities. Several 
thousand limed tiles were laid down in October and 
November in a duly prepared area and a good spat fall 
obtained ; the growth was as phenomenal as at Ennore, 
the largest specimens having attained a size of 2 ^-^ by 
2'^-^ inches in eight to ten weeks (!) with an approximate 
mean of i^ by i^ inches. Mr. Hornell considered that 
the oysters will be fully mature and marketable by June 
1912 when he estimates that, if nothing unusually 



48 

untoward happens, 15,000 dozen, allowing for ordinary- 
wastage, may be ready for consumption. Not only so, 
but he is inclined to believe in two spat falls in the year ; 
this seems to be correct since a fresh set of tiles laid 
down this June have already (July) a quantity of young 
oysters ; hence the oyster industry should become a 
most profitable and successful one both for the fresh 
oyster trade and, more especially, for the canning, dried 
oyster, and oyster-extract business. Quantities of 
brood mussels also settled on the tiles so that the 
development of an industry in this edible may also be 
expected. 

Mr. Hornell also drew up during the year a report 
on marine fish-farming in France and Italy, with sugges- 
tions for Madras practice ; this report has since been 
submitted to Government. 

24. Inland pisciciiltuTe and conservancy. — The intro- 
duction of New Zealand trout to Nilgiri waters was 
successfully accomplished by Mr. Wilson in November 
of the previous year, but the growth during the year 
under report was so considerable and successful 
that fishing is to begin in the current year 191 1. 
Mr. Wilson reports extraordinary trout growth, e.g., 
a 15 months old trout (S. irideus) 15 inches long 
and 8J inches round the broadest part ; it was also 
sexually mature ; many others were of nearly similar 
size. In November 19 10, moreover, Mr. W^ilson 
introduced ova of wild brown trout (Salmo fario) at his 
own charge from his hatchery in England, and these 
were successfully hatched and planted out ; these trout 
operations however will be reported on by the Collector 
of the Niigiris. Low country operations were confined 
{a) to pushing on the construction of the Sunkesula 
(Kurnool canal) fish farm; ib) the stocking of the 
Daroji and Barur tanks with carp, etc. ; (<:) the planning 
of a scheme for stockino- the new reservoir or lake under 
construction for the Salem town water-supply, and the 
preparation of items of plant for the same ; the reservoir 
is not yet ready ; id) the investigation of and drawing 
up a complete scheme and plans for a fish farm to 
supply the Kanigiri and other Nellore tanks, or rather 
storage reservoirs, with good fish ; this was a matter of 
much labour, but the project is now ready for submission 
to Government. The project for hatching hilsa has, for 



49 

the present, been held in abeyance ; it presents great 
practical difficulties, and it was deemed advisable to 
concentrate eftbrt on the fish farms. Mr. Wilson also 
inspected pisciculturally a variety of large tanks and 
canals, and is assisting the Darjiling municipality by his 
advice and plans in the matter of trout hatching and 
culture. 

The conservancy of the upper waters of the Moyar 
and Bhavani was maintained ; this also is under the 
Collector of the Nilgiris, but Mr. Wilson reports his 
opinion that much has already resulted in the increase 
of the head offish. Mr. Wilson also succeeded in 1910 
in preventing the hot weather drive and dynamiting of 
the fish in the Cauvery below Hogenkal — a practice 
which was wasteful and destructive, as well as illegal so 
far as the use of dynamite is concerned. 

Pearl and Chank Fisheries. 

25, These will, as usual, be reported on separately. 
The current season was fairly good, and the shells 
fished closely approximated to last year's catch ; the sale 
of the shells has been effected at a rate somewhat lower 
than last year, but much higher than in previous years. 
The motor-boat "Pearl" again did excellent work in 
towing canoes in periods of calm (thirty days) to and 
from the several diving grounds, and 43,375 shells, 
which should yield a net profit to Government of from 
Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000, were in consequence fished 
which would otherwise not have been taken ; since the 
total cost of the boat, when at work, for crew, fuel, 
stores, etc., is less than Rs. 100 per month, her employ- 
ment has yielded a large net profit to Government. 
Experience shows, however, that the boat is not quite 
powerful or large enough for her work and a fresh 
arrangement is in contemplation. The motor fishing- 
boat " Turbinella" was used in this service, and by her 
aid Mr. Hornell examined 34 of the pearl banks, with 
entirely negative results ; the boat is, hovA'ever, much 
too small for continuous work and a vast area remains 
to be inspected both of the ordinary banks and of 
ground hitherto neglected but potentially oyster bearing. 
New plans and estimates were worked out during the 
year for the proposed auxiliary inspection schooner 
intended to take the place of the old " Margarita" which 

4 



50 

was sold last year, and to serve also for general work by 
" Fisheries." These were sent to Government and 
thence to the Indian Marine Department where the 
matter at present rests ; the want of a good vessel is 
much felt. 

Mr. Hornell made a very important visit to Calcutta, 
Dacca, etc., to enquire into the conditions and methods 
of the chank trade and industry ; he has embodied the 
results in a trade report on which action has been based, 
while a second, dealing- with the shell-cutting industry, 
has been prepared. 

Co-operation. 

26. During the lengthy tour of my Assistant, 
Mr. Govindan, up and down the West Coast he paid 
attention, inter alia, to the important question of 
co-operation among the fishermen and curers. He 
found the germs of such co-operation in an existing 
society in Mangalore started in 1907 and working on 
rules more or less of their own but apparently on true 
co-operative lines, while in other places he found a 
ready acquiescence in the idea on which he frequently 
spoke and lectured ; at Tanur, where, as I mentioned in 
my very first report (1906), the fishermen and curers are 
a series of independent and isolated units, — but, for that 
very reason, subject to heavy usury on their necessary 
loans — there appears to be an excellent field for co- 
operative work ; this will be specially attended to next 
season as there will be a branch station at Tanur. 

The Mangalore society resulted in 1907 from the 
perusal by a District Press clerk of the rules, etc., for 
co-operative societies published in the District Gazette ; 
at present the society is not registered, and worked 
solely on the monthly subscriptions, etc., of its 51 mem- 
bers ; the loans, however, are granted by the committee — 
not by auction as in the nidhis — and the committee 
members are reported to satisfy themselves of the neces- 
sity for each loan, e.g., by examining the fishing boat to 
be repaired, etc., before granting it. So far the society 
is working satisfactorily. Another interesting society is 
an indigenous temperance society ; the besetting vice of 
the fishing classes is drink, partly by reason of their 
onerous and exposed calling, partly because they have 
hitherto had no opportunities for thrift or for the 



51 

productive use of their money or credit, and therefore 
readily got rid of any surplus cash. The temperance 
society is one oi young men, and strange and sad to say, 
the most bitter opponents of their resolution are said to 
be the parents, including the mothers ; temperance is a 
departure from hereditary custom and all departures 
from custom are, in their eyes, bad. 

Apart from general economic, social, and moral 
considerations, there is peculiar need on the West Coast 
for co-operation, since the development of the fishing 
industry in general depends upon the syndication of men 
and capital, while, as the season under report has shown, 
in the new guano and oil industry it is of the greatest 
importance to unite co-operatively a number of small 
manufacturers w^ho will combine their small parcels of 
produce and place them on the market in large parcels ; 
this will be for the benefit of both manufacturer, middle- 
men, and consumer. 

I hope to see much propagandist work done during 
the next few years, especially by the aid of my Assistant 
Mr. V. Govindan, who, himself a West Coast man, adds 
devotion to knowledge and experience, and enjoys the 
confidence of the people. 

General. 

27. A notable visit of enquiry was that of an official 
deputation from Eastern Bengal and Assam to study 
our methods. The student from Travancore mentioned 
last year again spent the season at the station and has 
now returned to Travancore intending to take up the 
business, especially that of oil and guano. An exhibit 
of the experimental station products, viz., dried salt fish, 
smoked fish, and oil and guano, was sent to the Allaha- 
bad Exhibition and earned a gold medal. The bulletins 
of the department were issued to about 150 of the 
scientific societies and fishery institutions of the world, 
and in exchange the department is receiving numerous 
valuable publications. Mr. Hornell has also issued 
biological specimens to various institutions and persons 
such as the British Museum and Indian Museum, but 
his ability to do so is very limited owing to the entire 
want of a biological station or laboratory. 

In repeating the second part of paragraph 24 of the 
report for 1909-19 10 I may call special attention to the 

4-A 



52 

nitial success of the new oil and guano industry, the 
development of which in the immediate future, seems 
assured ; here success seems to be due to several factors, 
such as,, (i) the obvious profit, (2) the visible ease and 
simplicity of the process, (3) the occasional existence of 
a rudimentary process of oil extraction, especially in 
South Malabar and as a cottage industry near Manga- 
lore, (4) the assured market, which depends upon an 
existing and effective external demand and not upon 
internal questions of custom, taste, and organization of 
retail trade as is the case with edible goods of a quality 
or preparation novel to the country. 

In this latter case it is just the organization that is 
the difficult matter, and this is precisely where a Gov- 
ernment department can help but little — however altru- 
istically anxious — without running up against opposition 
often more sentimental or Groundless than valid. As 
regards oil and guano it is wholly the action of Govern- 
ment that has initiated the new industry of which the 
propaganda began in 1907 but more particularly in 1908 
and it is gratifying to remember that the industry means, 
at its lowest, the conservation and utilization of oil, 
hitherto wasted or, rather, destroyed in beach drying the 
oil-sardine for manure, and that this conservation means 
an economic benefi.t in the early future amounting in 
mere money to many lakhs of rupees, in addition to 
many collateral benefits, such as the industrial and 
commercial stimulation afforded by the trade, and the 
readiness and ease with which the new light weight 
guano, unadulterated with sand, can be transported to 
and assimilated by the crops of the country. 



S3 

Letter — from Sir F. A. Nichol: c N, k.c.i.e., Honorary Director 

of Fisheries. 
Daied — the 25th June 191 2. 

I have the honour to submit my annual report on the 
operations of the Fishery office from ist April 191 1 to 
31st March 191 2. 

2. Experiniental stations. — These were at work in 
Calicut and Tanur. As proposed in my letter No. Ref. 
34, dated 27th January 191 1, I moved the work of 
preparing" sardine oil and guano from Cannanore, where 
fish were not very abundant and private work in the oil 
and guano business is well started, to Tanur where fish 
are ordinarily far more abundant ; this necessitated 
moving other curing operations also as it was impossible 
for me to supervise work at two distant points. Tanur, 
near Calicut, has more fishing boats than any other 
fishery centre in Malabar and lands a much greater 
weight of fish ; 8 acres of sandy beach were secured by 
the courtesy of the Revenue Department, and a good 
fishery station is gradually being formed there ; several 
hundred cocoanuts have been planted and are thriving, 
and when fully planted, the income from the trees should 
pay for the subordinate staff of the station. 

3. Light citring was advanced ; fish can now be 
brought into the yard between 7 and 8 a.m., cleaned, 
brined or salted for 20 to 30 minutes (or even less), 
sufficiently dried, packed, and despatched by noon on 
rail and such fish will keep good for several days ; the 
fish is but slightly saline and when soaked is practically 
fresh ; parcels were repeatedly sent to Kodaikanal — 
three or four days in transit — and arrived in good 
condition. Such fish is, of course, not fresh fish, but is 
a very fair substitute for it, and, being only slightly 
salted, has the advantage's of having lost but little of its 
nutritive value and of its digestibility. When such fish 
are smoked for a few hours their keeping capacity is much 
enhanced and, to Europeans at all events, the flavour 
greatly improved ; these smoked fish are, by many 
consumers, much preferred to anything of this class that 
can be imported, since imported fish may become insipid 
by canning or by the voyage. 

4. Light salted fish were also fully dried ; it was found 
that, using perfect cleanliness, fish need be kept in salt 
for much less than one hour, and can then be dried, by 



54 

solar or artificial heat, without the slio-htest appearance 
of taint ; this not only saves the time usually spent in 
salting, but keeps the product far more nutritious and 
digestible. 

5. By a similar method curing of sardines for food 
was greatly improved ; the whole, ungutted sardine, just 
as it comes from the sea, is washed, thrown into satura- 
ted brine — kept saturated by additions of salt — or mixed 
with dry salt at the rate of i lb. salt to six or seven of 
fish ; the fish are kept in salt or brine only for one to two 
hours {according to size and fatness) and are then sun- 
dried ; the product is thoroughly good, well-fiavoured, 
and keeps for months ; it is the quickest, easiest, and most 
productive of good food of any process yet adopted, and 
enables these fish to be dealt with by tons per hour, and 
turned rapidly into sound but cheap food instead of being 
dried on the beach into very inferior manure. When 
such fish are salted dry, that is by rousing with one to 
six salt as above, it is found that three-fifths of the salt is 
recovered, being undissolved, when the fish is washed 
out of the salt ; this surplus salt is used for the next batch. 
Hence the salt actually expended is only about one to 
twelve or less, a low rate ; excess of salt is necessary for 
each batch so that the action may be prompt and that 
each fish be in thorough contact with the salt. 

6. Successful experiments were made in artificial 
drying by using a low combustion stove and a hand- 
driven fan in order to secure drying when weather 
conditions are unfavourable or to ensure rapidity or 
control. They will be continued this year with better 
plant as the method gives much promise especially for 
cloudy and rainy weather. 

7. Experiments in drying fish by means of a 
vacuum plant have temporarily failed owing to a defect 
which prevented my obtaining a sufficiently high 
vacuum for evaporation at a low temperature, but the 
method promises success with advantages which will be 
detailed when success has been obtained ; present 
enquiries at home will probably solve the difficulty. 

8. For light cured fish, which are more readily 
attacked by fiies than heavily salted fish, a fly proof 
shed was put up ; such sheds are not costly, and as the 
fish are hung in many tiers, the method is very econo- 
mical of space — so often deficient in crowded yards — 



55 

while they are wholly protected from the dangers of fly- 
infection. 

9. Pickling. — Both mackerel and sardines have 
been very successfully pickled, that is, packed wet in 
air-tight barrels with plenty of salt, and kept moist ; 
this pickled fish may either be sent out in the original 
barrels, or removed from the barrels, drained but not 
dried, and packed moist with a little extra salt in boxes 
or kerosine tins. Instead of barrels, kerosine tins have 
been successfully used. The advantages of fish cured 
by this method as compared with dried fish are its 
greater digestibility, its ready preservation for many 
months if the containers are kept air-tight, the compara- 
tive ease with which the salt may be removed, by soaking, 
from wet fish, and a greater range of culinary possibi- 
lities ; such fish can also at any time be de-salted and 
cured by smoking. Moreover, there is much saving 
in labour since the fish are packed away in their 
containers as fast as they are cleaned and, if necessary, 
split ; the two days' labour of spreading and drying in 
the sun is obviated ; the fish, too, are removed from all 
danger of taint as soon as they are in the barrels, and are 
not liable to the attacks of insects, mildew, etc., which 
trouble dried fish especially when stored in bulk, and 
which necessitate constant re-drying and re-storing. 
Sardines, moreover, may be at once packed whole, 
without gutting, with a minimum, therefore, of delay. 
Finally, wet curing is independent of weather, and can 
as readily be conducted in cloudy and rainy weather as 
in the dry season. All the above points have been 
demonstrated by frequent experiments ; the disadvant- 
ages, as compared with sun-dried fish, are the need for 
somewhat expensive containers, expensive that is for 
poor people even if only kerosine tins, the larger 
quantity of salt required, and the weight of the packages 
of wet fish and consequent cost of transport. 

10. Canning. — This branch was opened at Calicut 
during the season with plant obtained some time 
previously. The small can-niaking plant was supple- 
mented by several small items needed for practical work 
and very good sardine tins of the usual " quarter " and 
"half" sizes are now readily made ; also round tins of 
any depth, but of one diameter only. Our tins usually 
contain a somewhat greater — sometimes a considerably 



^56 

greater — weight of fish than those sold as quarters or 
halves in the European trade. 

The canning plant in use consists entirely of locally- 
made articles except the processing (cooking or sterilis- 
ing) kettles which are small autoclaves obtained from 
Europe, that is strong vessels in which the cans are 
heated by pressure steam — usually about 12-lb. steam — 
generated within the vessels themselves by powerful 
lamps or fire applied externally ; this gives a tempera- 
ture of over 240" F. sufficient to sterilise all fish produce. 

11. Mackerel, sardines and prawns have chiefly been 
canned, and with encouraging success for a first season ; 
in some experiments the success has been marked and 
even complete but in others only partial ; the goods 
have continuously been examined, tested and tasted. 
Insuccess has chiefly been due to {a) the inferior oils 
obtainable in India ; inferior, that is, for canning 
purposes ; {b) to inexperience in condimental additions ; 
\c) to inappropriate methods or periods of salting, drying, 
or cooking ; {d) to the inexperience of the soldering 
staff in hermetically and rapidly sealing tins full of oil, 
brine, etc. Many of the difficulties will probably be sur- 
mounted by the enquiries now being made in Great 
Britain, etc. ; all will gradually yield to experience. 
But general success has already been sufficient to warrant 
the expectation of teaching students and the publication 
of methods and recipes, by the end of next season, even 
though the products do not attain the excellence begotten 
of many years' experience. In a former report allusion 
was made to the fact that even in the United States several 
years of experiment by the experts of that inventive and 
highly-educated country were admittedly needed before 
the canning of their "sardines" was successful; the 
present advertisement of a well-known British brand 
states that ten years were given to the perfecting of that 
sino-le brand, hence success in o-eneral canningr cannot at 
once be obtained in India with many new conditions to 
face. The last season's experience has both trained the 
staff and indicated our probable methods and recipes, 
our mistakes and difficulties ; it only remains to win 
through. 

12. It has, so far, been found impossible to procure 
a trained canning expert, none is available at Mahe and 
M. Josselin, the French canning expert of that place, 



57 

died last October ; enquiries at Goa were equally 
unsuccessful. But the services of men who have worked 
in the Mahe Factory and are acquainted with the 
mechanical part of the business, were secured, and my 
personal knowledge and attention have been mainly 
devoted to this part of our season's experimental work. 
After all, little but experience and close attention to 
details are needed, provided one is thoroughly acquainted 
with the principles, necessities, and general methods of 
canning, nor would any expert, even from Europe, that 
we could possibly afford, be likely to succeed without 
much experiment in details, owing to the difference in 
material and conditions ; indeed, a highly-educated 
European expert, versed equally in the principles of 
canning and its technique, and able from those reasons, 
to adapt his methods to new materials and conditions, 
would hardly be attainable at any pay, while a mere 
foreman would, by himself, be of little value under 
circumstances wholly opposed to his rule-of-thumb 
knowledge. In every country, even in Japan, men have 
had in such matters to win through by intelligent, 
continuous experiment, and we can do and are doing the 
same at Calicut. 

13. Fish pastes. — Another item of work at the cannery 
has been the preparation and canning of pure, unadultera- 
ted fish pastes, chiefly mackerel and prawn. Here there 
has been marked success, and the future experiments 
relate mainly to market questions such as the provision 
of good materials at moderate rates, the flavourings 
most suited to Indian tastes, the obtaining of suitable tins 
and other containers (e.g., earthenware) properly 
decorated, etc. The method enables a manufacturer to 
place most wholesome, nutritious, and palatable food on 
the markets in a concentrated form ; though seemingly 
expensive the goods are really cheap since every particle 
is pure, nutritious food, of which a two-ounce tin contains 
as much as a fish of considerable size ; transport charges 
are reduced to a minimum, and the product, when 
canned will keep good for years. Eftbrt has chiefly been 
directed to the production of plain but palatable paste, 
i.e., concentrated fish, intended for general consumption 
at low prices, and not to " Delikatessen " for luxurious 
tables, though these have not been neglected. By the 
end of next season the station will be prepared to train 
students and publish its recipes. 



58 

14- Sardine oil and giLano. — These products formed 
the main feature in last year's report ; this year there is 
httle to record from the Tanur Experimental Station 
owing mainly to the absence of shoals, but partly to 
delay in the arrival and setting up of new, and in the 
transfer of old, plant. A powerful English press capable 
of taking charges of half a ton has been set up, and also 
a steam-driven centrifugal ; the latter was used but once 
and proved very successful in separating fluids from the 
solid. Steam has also been applied to boiling the mass 
in the boiling vats, so as to obtain a prime, light- 
coloured oil, and to reduce the boiling period ; the 
preliminary experiments promise complete success. A 
small steam oil-boiling pan for sterilising the oil 
and driving off any suspended water has also been 
set up. The whole of the above can be run by a 
single boiler of 4 N.H.P., but two are available, since 
the boiler eventually intended for the cannery is on hand. 
A small oil filter press, and a steam oil refining pan, 
workino- with an air blast, are also on hand for future 
experiments, while a large filter press was obtained 
second hand from the Medical Stores Department, 
Madras. Next season will be devoted to experiments, 
with the above plant. 

Mr. Govindan continued his lectures and practical 
demonstrations — with a small portable plant — on the coast 
and has frequently had to tour in order to advise 
persons who had set up or intended to set up the small 
plant which we advocate. We have also reported on 
several occasions to the Collectors of the two West 
Coast districts, on applications made to them for land 
for factories. 

15. Meanwhile the industry has got on in unusual 
fashion. In 1909 there were but two little factories, viz., 
that of the experimental station, Cannanore, and that of 
Mr. Ooni Choyi also of Cannanore, our first convert to 
the new method. In the season 1910-11, nine small 
factories were running and many more were being 
prepared or projected ; the season 1911-12 opened with 
no less than forty-five small factories in Malabar and 
South Kanara, and European firms are taking interest 
in the business and in the products. Moreover, other 
factories are probable in Cochin and Travancore. The 
business has come to stay, and should be highly profit- 
able to producers and of great economic advantage. 



59 

These small factories at present wisely limit them- 
selves to — and indeed the plant in use is only calculated 
for — the production of crude brown oil ; in fact, the 
nearest large market, viz., the jute industry in Calcutta, 
prefers this class of oil and does not desire the removal 
of the stearine. Hence owing- to the development of 
the local industry, the experimental station has nothing 
further to do in the matter of the crude brown oil. But 
there is an immense and better-priced market for finer 
oils, especially if refined and deodorized, and the station 
has consequently adapted its plant, as mentioned above, 
to secure only light-coloured oil, to separate the oil and 
stearine by means of a filter press, and to refine the oil ; 
a special laboratory plant for experiments in deodorizing 
has also been personally obtained, while enquiries now 
being made in England are expected to give material 
help. Some of the best oil has been supplied gratis to 
local medical men, who have used it internally in various 
cases and who consider it probably a useful substitute for 
other oils, but this is a matter on which the station can 
give no opinion, save that the oil is far less unpalatable 
than some country oils. The better class oil is in 
demand for leather factories, e.g., in Cawnpore, and for 
paint and colour works : medicinally there may be a 
field for its use, and, if thorougn deodorizatiori is 
possible, it will be edibly useful. 

1 6. Pisciciilttire — Fresh water. — This is the special 
province of our piscicultural expert, Mr. H.C.Wilson. 
His skilful work on the Nilgiris has resulted in the 
complete establishment of trout (chiefly S. Irideus but 
partly S. fario) in the higher waters ; the fisheries were 
opened to anglers about the end of August 191 1 and 
many fish, the largest weighing 5^ lb., were taken. The 
head of fish now in the ^waters is large and valuable, 
while the license fees were considerable although the 
fishing was opened near the end of the season. 

17. The conservation of the upper waters of the 
Moyar and Bhavani was continued and Mr. Wilson 
reports very perceptible improvement in the stock of fish 
since illegal practices (use of fixed engines, dynamiting, 
etc.) were checked. These illegalities were largely the 
work of gangs of men who come up for the purpose, 
not of the local tribes. This work and that of stocking 
the Nilgiri waters with trout are under the Collector of 



6o 

the Nilgiris, who reports thereon, but are mentioned 
here since they were carried out by Mr. Wilson of this 
department. 

1 8. On the plains valuable and hitherto unique work 
was done by Mr. Wilson ; the Sunkesula (Kurnool) fish- 
farm was brought to practical completion as the breed- 
ing- arrangements, stock and fry ponds were in regular 
use ; it now contains a fine stock of thousands of fish, 
carp of all species being chiefly represented, and murrel 
(ophiocephalids) which grow well and are greatly in 
demand. It will now be possible to begin stocking the 
canal and other waters which was the primary object of 
the farm. But the stock is so large and grows so rapidly 
that it is necessary to thin out the big fish, and since the 
neighbouring town of Kurnool itself provides a large and 
exigent market, to say nothing of the district, Mr. Wilson 
has, in communication with the municipal authorities, 
drawn up plans for marketing his surplus fish. This is 
a very important development of the work ; no such idea 
as that of breeding and nurturing fish for the urban 
market had been dreamed of, and Mr. Wilson's work now 
shows that there is an open and easily-worked field for a 
new industry. Since a single large murrel, easily bred, 
very nutritious, and with proper attention to desirable 
flavour, can be sold for a rupee, there is obviously an 
opening for the commercial breeding of fish wherever 
there is water and market ; and since murrel of all 
fish are most easily transported, and live a long time 
out of water, they are specially excellent for market 
purposes. 

19. The farm gives complete opportunities for study- 
ing the bionomics of our Madras fresh-water fish, so 
that the fish yielding the best class of food, the most 
rapid growers, etc., can be selected for propagation and 
distribution. The methods of hatching, rearing, and 
transport suitable to tropical conditions and the nature 
of the various species of fish are being devised, and 
piscicultural science on both its pure and practical sides 
is being studied. One interesting study was that of the 
murrel (Ophioceph. punctatus) the eggs of which are now 
known to be floating and not demersal as hitherto stated; 
these .fish nest and protect their young in broods till of 
the fingerling size ; hence it is easy to capture them for 
farm purposes. 



6i 

20. One result of the study of the murrel is the 
scheme which, during" the year, Mr. Wilson developed 
for a second fish farm in the Colair lake, in which the 
breeding- of murrel will be an important item. The 
second fish farm is equally designed to breed hilsa in 
view {a) to increasing the numbers of this excellent fish 
in the Kistna and Godavari rivers both of which will be 
served by a floating establishment in the Colair lake, (d) 
to provide ova for stocking the West Coast rivers which 
appear admirably adapted for this anadromous fish, being 
uninterrupted by anicuts, full of fish food, and having 
excellent breeding grounds. In this connection may be 
mentioned the fact that two years ago a trial consignment 
of hilsa ova was placed by Mr. Wilson in the Ponnani 
river, and that in November last a two year old hilsa was 
caught in the estuary of that river, the first hilsa known 
to have been caught on the Malabar coast ; this Q-ives 
support to the belief that the rivers on that coast are 
suitable for the development of this fine and commercially 
valuable fish. 

The Colair hilsa breeding scheme replaces that 
originally proposed on the Coleroon which Mr. Wilson 
has found a quite unsuitable locality for the artificial 
propagation of hilsa, partly by reason of the ignorant 
hostility of the fishermen, partly because of the unsuit- 
ableness of the locality for unhampered experiment, 
partly because of the impracticability of obtaining a 
nursery area or growing ground. The Colair lake seems 
to provide all necessary advantages. 

21. Other important piscicultural work carried out by 
Mr. Wilson was the stocking of several large tanks, the 
preparation of plant for the Salem Waterworks Reservoir, 
etc. On the visit of Mr. Howell of the Punjab to 
Sunkesula and by subsequent correspondence Mr. 
Wilson was able to place at Mr. Howell's disposal such 
of the information, methods, plant, etc., which had been 
accumulated or developed in Mr. Wilson's four years' 
work in Madras, as appeared likely to be of service in 
the Punjab. Mr. Wilson made numerous tours and part 
of his time was occupied in selecting a new site for the 
proposed Kanigiri (Nellore) fish farm, a very promising 
project, the originally proposed site for which had to be 
disallowed by the Public Works Department for depart- 
mental reasons ; a new site is now under report. 



62 

2 2. Marine pisciculture. — This is necessarily of 
newer date than inland work, and is entirely due 
to and was carried out by Mr. James Hornell, as 
Marine Assistant. The experiment in oyster culture at 
Pulicat, mentioned in last year's report and based on 
small experiments at Ennore and Mr. Hornell's visit to 
Arcachon, was successfully continued ; Mr. Hornell 
has been able greatly to simplify and economise on the 
methods, etc., used at first starting-, and notwithstanding 
vicissitudes, due mainly to the excessively low water of 
the lake by reason of drought, he expects this midsummer, 
a fine batch of mature cultivated oysters, that is within 
2 1 months from spat-fall to maturity; thenceforward 
increasing quantities will be periodically available. The 
experience gained already has been found useful in 
connection with the scheme for oyster conservation and 
replenishment at Karachi about which Mr. Hornell was 
originally, and continues from time to time to be, consult- 
ed ; it will of course immensely help ourselves in future 
experiments and in educational work. The further 
difficulties are those of marketing the produce either raw 
or otherwise. 

23. Fish-farming was also taken up : Mr. Hornell 
made several tours of general enquiry and found many 
places on both coasts suitable for fish-farming, especially 
in Ganjam where, in fact, a respectable person was 
induced to take up on a very promising site and on lines 
indicated by Mr. Hornell, a small experiment. A capital 
site for the departmental fish farm was, however, selected 
at Tuticorin close to the chank o-odowns since this 
is Mr. Hornell's head-quarters as Superintendent of Pearl 
and Chank Fisheries, and we have there a staff capable 
of working on Mr. Hornell's instructions ; the detailed 
scheme was drawn up during the year and has been 
sanctioned by Government. In this farm fish, oysters, 
pearl oysters, chanks, etc., will be grown and their biono- 
mics and suitability for growth in captivity, carefully 
studied, to the probable great advantage of commercial 
piscicultural work ; the proximity of the Tuticorin market 
will also demonstrate the business value of lagoon fish- 
farming. Certain very important and probably lucrative 
researches will also now be possible as regards the breed- 
ing of chanks and the development of pearls in the pearl 
oyster. 



63 

24- Pearl and Chank Fisheries. — These will, as usual, 
be separately reported on in detail ; only an abstract 
follows. Mr. Hornell continued as Superintendent of 
these fisheries with J. A. Fernandez as his Sub- Assistant. 

Nothing was possible in the matter of pearl fisheries 
except such inspections, chiefiy by means of dredging, as 
were possible with the " Turbinella " ; no pearl oysters 
are yet visible, but Mr. Hornell believes that the condi 
tions are favourable for a spat-fall, and he obtained the 
sanction of Government for a small and new experiment 
in protecting a batch of oysters should they appear, in 
view not only to provide a breeding reserve but to test 
the possibility of doing this on a large scale. 

Mr. Hornell also carried out investigations upon the 
anatomy and identity of certain fish-parasites, a subject 
intimately connected with the problem of pearl produc- 
tion ; an account of three new species which were found 
and of a new genus which had to be created for one of 
these, has been published under the title of New 
Cestodes from Indian Fishes in the " Records of the 
Indian Museum" for 1912. 

25. The chank fisheries of the previous season were 
sold during the year on a novel method, viz., a three-year 
contract. For one reason or other the regular contractors 
declined to make any bids for the shells though of very 
good quality and ready-sorted by the department into 
the nine grades recognised by the trade, so that buyers 
know exactly what was on offer. Eventually the 
Superintendent negotiated a three-year lease on favour- 
able terms with a new contractor from Dacca who faith- 
fully redeemed his contract and will accordingly take all 
the shells for the current and next year's fishery ; this 
relieves us of much annual worry and is good business 
for the contractor. 

The current season's catches have been unusually 
deficient, chiefiy owing to a long period of disturbed 
weather which discouraged or debarred men already 
only too ready to seek other less difficult work, as for 
instance, in Tuticorin harbour or on the Pamban railway. 
In view of the probable decrease of divers, whose sons 
do not seem likely to follow their ancestral business, the 
Superintendent proposed and Government sanctioned 
the hiring of a couple of crews of Arabs from the Persian 
Gulf, but it was not possible to get them for the current 



64 

season. Mr. Hornell also considers that mechanical 
dredging" will shortly have to be relied on to keep up our 
takes, for which purpose the new schooner will be 
invaluable. The neglected fishery of South Arcot is now 
proving profitable and the lease has been sold for three 
years at a rate more than double that of the first year ; 
the new fishery at Idinthakarai in the south of the Tinne- 
velly district opened only last year, also doubled its 
small output, and gives promise of development. 

26. The Superintendent as a result of the visit to 
Dacca, etc., has already submitted a practical report on 
the chank business ; during the year he collected much 
information for a further report on the chank industry in 
its technical, economic and ethnological aspects. It is 
most interesting to hear that in visiting the sites of the 
ancient cities of Korkai and Kayal in Tinnevelly district, 
he found in the old rubbish heaps which mark their long 
deserted sites, many specimens of chank iiwrkshop waste 
(not broken bangles but actual w^orkshop waste), showing 
that the chank cutting industry is indigenous to Tinnevelly 
and was largely practised there in long past centuries. 
Hence the proposed introduction of the industry will be 
a revival and not the intrusion of an exotic novelty. 
Enquiries are being made in England for small experi- 
mental plant suitable for chank cutting. 

27. It was mentioned last year that the " Pearl 
whale boat was rather small for her work ; with Govern- 
ment sanction we have now taken the " Dan " engine 
from the 25-ton " Turbinella " for which it was hardly 
powerful enough, and transferred it to the fully decked 
14-ton " Sutherland " which is now a useful boat with 
a 15-horse j)ower engine and tows the whole fieet of 
eight laden canoes at fair speed ; she thus enabled fishing 
on days when the canoes could not otherwise have 
reached the fishing grounds, and thus accounted for 
catches of about 35,000 shells, value to Government 
about Rs. 2,240, which would otherwise have remained 
unfished. The " Pearl " is now attached to the Experi- 
mental Stations in Malabar. 

28. Miscellaneous. — At the instance of Government, 
the Fisheries department submitted to Government a 
scheme and plan, drawn up by Mr. Hornell as an Aquarium 
expert, for the erection at Madras of a suitable Ma?-ine 
Aquarium (to replace the present very small but very 



65 

popular one), and Marine Biological Institution ; a special 
committee was appointed to consider the question and 
reported to Government strongly in favour of the scheme 
including not only an aquarium worthy of the country 
and of its position as the only one between Naples and 
the Philippines, but a place of biological research and 
instruction, a source of supply of biological specimens 
for use in educational institutions and for study by savants 
all over the world, and a su'table home for the Fisheries 
department which would, in turn, greatly strengthen its 
position and enhance its usefulness. Mr. Hornell also 
suggested the foundation of a research fellowship in 
fishery investio^ations tenable bv Graduates of the Madras 
Universitv in connection with the economic work of the 
proposed institution, a suggestion which was warmly 
supported by the Committee. 

Biological tc search and supplies. — Mr. Hornell has 
attempted work in this direction so far as the pressure 
of other duties and want of provision for such work per- 
mitted ; he has been able, though, not departmentally. 
to supply specimens to research workers at Oxford, the 
British Museum, and Calcutta, but could do little for the 
reasons given. 

Exchange of publications has been carried out with 
about 1 20 other institutions all over the world, and a 
considerable body of books and papers is being received. 

Deep sea fishing was not carried out ; the " Suther- 
land " was transferred to the Pearl and Chank Fisheries 
department, and the " Turbinella " whose engine was 
placed in the " Sutherland," was also on pearl inspection 
duty in the absence of a regular inspection vessel. More- 
over it has been found, in practice, impossible to obtain 
a crew which, on their own initiative and without expert 
supervision, will work and modify their work as occasion 
requires, in unknown and hitherto untried conditions^ in 
purely experimental methods, and with nets, etc., neces- 
sarily somewhat different to their own ; this is markedly 
the case in Ireland and even in Japan, and is a practical 
stumbling block in Madras. Hence it was proposed, 
and Government sanctioned the proposal, to obtain a 
practical instructor from the East of Scotland who would 
experiment, mainly in drift net and line fishing, in the 
exploitation of our coastal fisheries in areas hitherto 
untouched y^t probably well within the 100 fathom limit. 

5 



66 

Letter — from Sir F. A. Nicholson, k.c.i e., Honorary Direc- 
tor of Fisheries. 
Dated— \li\\ July 1913- 

1. I have the honour to submit my annual report for 

1912-13. 

2. The principal operations in hand were — 

(i) the West Coast experimental station for ex- 
perimental curing, canning, and the production of fish 
oil and guano ; 

(2) the oyster farm at Pulicat ; 

(3) the Suhkesula fresh-water farm ; 

(4) the stocking of certain tanks ; 

('5) the preparation of important piscicultural pro- 
jects including the Tuticorin marine fish-farm, the 
Nellore carp and murrel farm, the Colair lake hilsa 
hatchery and murrel farm, the acclimatisation of tench 
on the plains, etc. ; 

(6) the usual pearl and chank fishery ; 

(7) experiments by Mr. Wilson on a large scale at 
Sunkesula in the destruction of mosquito larvae by 
certain fishes ; followed by a practical paper and demon- 
strations ; 

(8) the conservation of the upper waters of the 
Bhavani and Moyar on the lower slopes of the Nilgiris ; 

(9') the conservation and development of the trout 
in the upper Nilgiris ; 

(10) miscellaneous, which includes minor enquiries, 
operations, correspondence, etc., too numerous to detail, 
including, however, the investigations made in Europe 
by myself and Personal Assistant. 

3. Expeidmental Station i7t Malabar. — This is located 
at Tanur and Calicut ; the former is an area of 8 acres of 
recent sandy accretion from the sea, and all ordinary 
curing, oil and guano work is carried on there ; the latter 
is the newly established cannery which however is only 
temporarily placed in a rented work-shed belonging to 
the ice factory. Tanur has been wire-fenced and planted 
with 500 cocoanuts, all flourishing ; these should in a 
few years pay the working expenses of the yard, apart 
from profits due to operations. The yard contains two 
large store sheds, a good iron shed for oil and guano 
operations, two curing sheds, besides dryers, smoking 
boxes, a fly-] roof shed for hanging lightly cured fish, 
various other curing plant, and manure pits for oftal. 



^1 

4- Oil and g^iano. — The oil and guano plant includes 
two steam boilers with two steam boiling pans of masonry 
and several of wood — all heated by open steam — besides 
two copper pans for open fire, presses of various sorts 
including a centrifugal, two filter presses, and a variety 
of other plant, the object being to produce first-class 
yellow oil which, according to invoices and tenders, 
fetches at least 25 per cent better prices than the com- 
mon brown oil ; a small contract has been made to 
supply 1,000 gallons of such oil to the Government 
leather factory at Cawnpore. The steam vats are 
invaluable for this purpose since the action is rapid 
and the oil cannot be scorched ; a ton of fish and water 
can be thoroughly boiled, with a minimum of stirring, in 
45 minutes from cold with steam averaging 40 lb. 
Continued experiment since 1908 has led to the precise 
method and results laid down in the most recent text- 
book (" Chemistry of the Oil Industries," Southcombe, 
1913), viz., the "rapid boiling of the fish with live steam 
in false-bottom tanks, " using fish absolutely fresh from 
the sea, " separating the bulk of the oil as quickly as 
possible " by skimming from the surface of the hot mass 
in the boiling vats, which gives " an oil fairly pale in 
colour and which needs but little refining," and pressing 
the residue "when a dark oil is obtained." The whole 
process is now entirely differentiated from the old in- 
digenous and highly insanitary process of obtaining oil by 
the putrefaction of masses of fish in old canoes, etc., 
when the oil, freed from the tissues by putrefactive 
rupture of the cells, was " charged with putrefactive 
impurities which are impossible to remove on a com- 
mercial basis" (Southcombe). The oil made under the 
new process cannot be- putrid, nor is it even putrescible 
if re-boiled and filtered at once ; the fault found on 
inspecting village factories is not that the oil is putrid 
but that it is often scorched and therefore unnecessarily 
dark, and strong with the smell of burnt oil. 

5. Owing to extraordinary local conditions very little 
oil was made at Tanur ; sardines were enormously 
abundant but on this part of the coast were young, small, 
and almost destitute of fat ; oil sardines suitable for oil 
making run about 30,000 to 40,000 to the ton, whereas 
the generality of sardines in 1912-13 ran at 90,000 to the 
ton. These gave good guano, but no oil worth mentioning. 

5 -A. 



68 



Five ions of the guano were sold to the Agricultural 
College, Coimbatore, on a very good analysis which gave 
a valuation of Rs. 90 per ton ; the rest was sold to a local 
firm. 

6. Not less than 45 village oil and guano factories 
were al work on the coast using the new method of 
boiling the fish ; the number indicates part of the advance 
made since the first factory was started and profits 
demonstrated by " Fisheries " in 1908 at Cannanore. In 
a discussion on the ability of Indians to assimilate new 
industries of demonstrated method and profit, a British 
merchant instanced the rapid growth of this fish-oil and 
guano industry as an argument in favour of such ability, 
remarking that in three years it had become a matter to 
be reckoned with. The rush for the industry — for which 
there were many additional applicants during the year — 
has led to insufficient care in sanitary matters, and on a 
reference bv the Collector of South Canara I examined 
a number of small factories of which nine are in one 
seaside village. Suggestions have been made for the 
(roper conduct of operations, especially in the matter of 
leading the efiluent waste water direct to the sea 
below high-water mark ; this is essential as the water 
is charged with putrescible and fermentible matter, and 
becomes very unpleasant if allowed to run into the sand. 
All factories will now be carefully inspected on several 
occasions during each coming season, and simple but 
obvious sanitary needs will be insisted on. 

7. The following table shows the West Coast export 
by sea offish-guano for the past three years ; that sent 
by rail or road cannot be ascertained as the accounts do 
not separate this class of manure from other classes ; 
hence the destination of a orood deal of gruano is not 
recorded : — 





1910-11. 


1911 


-12. 


I912-I3. 




Quantity. 


\'alue. 


Quantity. 


Value. 


I 
Quantity. Value. 


Fish-guano .. 


IONS. RS. 

188 13,648 


TONS. 
267 


RS. 
17,866 


TONS. 

1,872 


RS. 
1. 54.916 



The whole of the export was to Ceylon, but it is believed 
that part was re-shipped to Japan and elsewhere. The 



69 

exports of fish-oil are not included, since there is a large 
export of country-made fish-oil which is not yet distin- 
guished in the accounts. By the courtesy of the Customs 
Department export accounts will in future distinguish 
"fish-oil, boiled," and "fish-guano" as items separate 
from " fish-oil" (which includes a lot of oil prepared by 
the old methods in various parts of the coast including 
Travancore and Cochin) and " fish-manure," by which is 
understood the sardine manure dried on the beach. 

The absence of oil in the masses of sardines, especi- 
ally on the South Malabar Coast, led to very heavy 
operations in drying sardines in the usual fashion on the 
beach. The wastefulness of this method in valuable 
constituents owing to the putrefactive loss of nitrogen, 
etc., has often been mentioned, but may be gauged by 
the following printed prices quoted by a large firm dealing 
with estates, viz. : — 

Rs. per ton 
bagged f.o.r. 

(i) Fish-guano, guaranteed, 8—9 percent N, and [oo 

7 — 8 per cent phosphoric acid, 

(2) Milled fish, 5 — 6 per cent N, and 4 — 5 percent 55 

phosphoric acid. 

(3) Vish-vnaxwxxt (jio giiaranfec) ... ... ... 40 

No. (3) is the ordinary manure obtained by drying 
fish on the sand and necessarily contains much adhering 
sand which partly accounts for its low price. Since five 
tons of fresh fish boil and dry into 1 ton of guano or dry 
to about i^^ tons of beach-dried fish, the gain both in 
money and in nitrogen is obvious, while the whole of the 
oil, much or little, is an additional asset. 

8. The absence of the oil in the fish and the poor 
prices given for beach-dried fish led me on returning to 
Tanur to consider methods of drying lean fish without 
boiling them. Two methods were adopted, viz. [a) that 
of light and brief salting followed by sun-drying, and [d) 
that of artificial drying. In both cases the object is to 
avoid the loss caused by several days' drying, without 
salt on the beach, where putrefaction, loss by soakage, 
birds, insects, etc., cause great loss of nitrogen and of 
actual material, besides being a nuisance to the public ; 
further and great loss is often caused by rain on the 
drying material. When the fish are even lightly salted 
and then dried not only is putrefaction entirely prevented 
but the tissues are hardened so that there is less breakasfe 



70 

of the fish and loss of debris ; nor are the fish attacked 
by insects. Hence salted fish yield larger quantities of 
better manure than unsalted fish, and they are not injured 
by rain since they can be stored without putrefaction 
till the rain ceases. It is found that one hour in salt is a 
sufficient protection ; the salt actually used up (by absorp- 
tion and wastage) is about one-twentieth of the weight of 
the fresh fish or one and one-third maunds per ton and 
consequently costs at fish curing yard prices (As, lo per 
maund) about Rs. 4-8-0 per five tons of fresh fish or Rs. 3 
per ton of dry fish, since five tons of fresh fish thus treated 
become about i^ tons dry fish. This fish has been 
analysed and showed 678 per cent of nitrogen, so that 
it is worth retail at least Rs. 65 as against Rs. 40 per ton 
of ordinary beach-dried fish. Hence there is not only 
large pecuniary gain but an economic gain to society in 
the saving of the nitrogen, etc., which would otherwise 
have been lost by putrefaction and other causes. 

The cost of artificial drying is much the same, and it 
found that the fish when dried by strong heat, say 300" 
F., break up and become like guano ; this part of the 
experiment will be continued this year in a proper drier 
now being built for this purpose and for drying the press 
cakes rapidly and without loss, 

9, Curing. — The method of lightly salting sardines 
just as they come from the beach, without gutt'ng, has 
been practised for several years in the station ; the fish 
were usually left moist though not in pickle, as fat 
sardines do not dry well. But the lean sardines of this 
year, lightly salted and dried for manurial purpose (para- 
graph 12 supra), were perfectly good for edible purposes 
as had been shown in previous years, e,g,, paragraph 9 
of the report for 1911-12. Hence we now place our 
lean, ungutted sardines in salt for one hour, using up less 
than one-sixteenth of their weight of salt, and then dry 
them on barbecues, etc., into sound edible fish — experto 
credite — with absolutely no trace of taint, while the fish, 
shown by analysis to contain about 9 per cent of salt, 
remain good indefinitely. I have bought these fish fresh 
on the beach at less than Rs. 4 per ton at which price 
the 10 tons of dried fish resulting from five tons of fresh 
fish cost less than Rs. 30 for fish, salt, and labour ; at 
Rs. 10 per ton the cost would be Rs 60; ordinarily, 
therefore, one ton of this excellent food may cost from 
Rs. 20 to Rs. 40 according to the first cost of the fish. 



10. After studying the cure of pilchards in Cornwall 
(September 1912), instructions were sent out on which 
Mr. Hornell conducted at Tanur a most useful experi- 
ment in true pilchardizing as practised in Cornwall, 
VIZ., in placing the ungutted fat fish (pilchards) in heavy 
salt for a week or two, removing them to barrels with 
loose staved bottoms, and subjecting them to pressure ; 
the result after two or three days' moderate but increas- 
ing pressure, is a firm, solid mass of moist pickled fish, 
and a considerable quantity of good and pure oil almost 
entirely free from stearine since the fish are pressed 
at normal temperature when the stearine remains solid 
and cannot be pressed out of the tissues. This was 
repeated at Tanur with fat sardines weighing about 
36,000 to the ton or 16 to the pound, and resulted in 
about 6 per cent of perfectly clear good oil, with but 
slight fishy smell, and free from stearine ; the fish, 
however, were then dried, and when inspected several 
months later were firm and good, and free from broken 
bellies owing to the stiffening given by the salt. As fat 
fish entirely deserted Tanur the experiment could not 
be repeated, but will be closely examined this year, 
since it results in good human food, moist or dry, and 
yet extracts, without the use of fuel, the best part of 
the stearine-free oil ; the fat remaining in the fish 
improves it as food. 

11. Canning. — The main efforts of the year were 
in developing the canning industry of Calicut. Experi- 
ments were begun in January 19 12 (see paragraphs 14 
to 16 of the report for 1911-12) and continued till my 
leaving for England in April ; Mr. Hornell then ably 
carrlecl on the work till my return in January. The 
plant in use was smaU experimental plant for making- 
soldered rectano^ular cans sized as for sardines and for 
herrings, and round 4^" cans of any depth. The sets 
of experiments, often with several variants to the set, 
reached 374 in number, and mainly concerned sardines 
in oil, plain sardines without oil, mackerel plain and 
marinated, and plain prawns, besides various minor 
lines : fish pastes were also worked at. Mr. Hornell and 
myself are well content with our technical success and 
we have tentatively decided on certain standards for 
each class of product ; those of the public to whom 
samples have been sent are at least equally satisfied. 



72 

One result is that Government have permitted me to 
obtain a superior can-niakino^ plant of a character 
determined by my enquiries at home in 1912, which 
with the larger canning plant already in our hands, 
will enable us during the current year to turn out 
products which may be placed on the market for the 
verdict of the public, for ascertaining both the correct 
price and value of the several articles, and for the infor- 
mation of those who may care to take up the business 
either as an industrial or as a trade matter. The factory 
will also serve as a place of complete instruction in 
canning lines, where those interested may learn all 
canning methods and precautions, the class and cost 
of plant necessary, and the various recipes which we 
have now more or less standardized ; this will open to 
capitalists who seriously take the business in hand, all 
the so-called " secrets of canning," and will provide a 
healthy, instructed competition for the public favour, 
and consequently the best classes of goods ; monopoly 
in such matters is most undesirable since its very 
secretiveness permits it to place goods of unknown and 
sometimes undesirable character on the market and 
at its own prices ; a public canning institution with 
public instructors and inspectors will substitute publicity 
for secrecy and mystery. During my enquiries in 
Europe certain facts came to my knowledge which 
convinced me of the need for perfect publicity, e.g., 
products with — it was said — 90 per cent of sophistica- 
tion by means of additions not necessarily unwholesome 
or bad but not the genuine article ; this sophistication 
is not possible where every detail of an industry may 
be learnt by all who wish to compete for public favour, 
so that manufacturers will necessarily be circumspect 
in the methods and materials of their products. 
Moreover, the existing and, still more, the improved 
Government station, with its plant, experience, and 
skilled instruction, will prevent all those losses of capital 
and those risks to the public which would arise from 
the intrusion of rash and hasty ignorance into this 
seductive enterprise. 

12. It is certain that canning, properly conducted, 
is a method eminently suited to the tropics, especially 
for fish which so readily taints. The enormous develop- 
ment of this industry in the United States is little studied 



7^0 



in England where canning" for home use is not greatly 
needed or practised ; but for India it has great lessons. 
The only alternatives are refrigeration or curing ; the 
former is expensive and temporary in result, the latter 
is difficult to carry out in such a v*^ay that the products 
are thoroughly digestible and generally acceptable ; 
light curing is difficult and risky both for the producer 
or retailer, while hard curing produces goods which have 
lost much of their savour, digestibility, and nutritive 
value ; smoking is not yet acceptable to the general 
public. Pickled fish ought to be a universal product 
and is a line which " Fisheries '" is taking up as a rival 
to canned goods ; the want and cost of barrels or other 
containers and the cost of freight are against the popu- 
larity of pickled goods which, moreover, will not keep 
indefinitely. Canned goods, however, can be produced 
at fairly cheap rates (not so cheap of course as ordinary 
cured goods) which, having been thoroughly sterilised, 
will be absolutely free from the risks attending badly 
cured or so-called " fresh " fish, which will contain the 
maximum of solid food in a minimum of space and will 
therefore transport well and cheaply, will always be 
ready for consumption even without cooking, and will 
keep indefinitely ; it is not generally known that properly 
canned goods improve by keeping and that respectable 
French canners will not issue canned sardines till six or 
twelve months after manufacture. Canning, as specially 
studied in the Govenment station for the production of 
plain and cheap goods, is a most useful advance in the 
curino- industrv, and partlv from lessons recentlv learnt 
in England, certain lines of economical canning have 
been adopted and standardized which will provide cans 
of -^, I, or more pounds, of solid, sound, and wholesome 
food thoroughly sterilized and excellently prepared, and 
with much less contents of water than fresh fish, at not 
more than the cost of (so-called) fresh fish as packed 
in ice and sold upcountry. 

13. A bitter controversy was submitted to the 
Mao-isterial Courts in England in 19 12 as to whether 
any fish except those canned by the French (or Portu- 
guese) canners can be labelled and sold as sardines, 
it being contended by the French canners that only the 
young " Clupea pilchardus " found on their coast, can 
lawfully be called a " sardine," and that sprats, brisling, 



74 

etc., elsewhere canned in oil, cannot be so described for 
trade purposes. The matter has again been revived, 
owino- to the persistence of the non- French canners. and 
is still subjud'ce. This is of much interest to Madras, 
since our "sardines" are perhaps not " Clupea pilchar- 
dus" but "Clupea longiceps " and " Clupea fimbriata," 
and the same objection might conceivably be raised to 
Madras trade labels. But our fish especially " Clupea 
longiceps," are sardines in appearance and flavour ; we 
have the highest ichthyological authority (e.g., Dr. Day) 
for calling them " sardines," and they have in fact been 
so called for at least a century, since a Ceylon Ordinance 
of 1824 speaks of these fish, as fish well known by that 
name ; hence we have both legal and scientific authority 
for calling our fish "sardines" which name I have 
hitherto placed on my labels ; the words " packed in 
India " may, however, be properly added. 

14. Fresh fish. — Nothing can ever make " fresh fish " 
both cheap and good up country so long as ordinary 
refrigeration is the only method available ; it can only 
be cheap (or moderately so) if ice is spared, and then it 
is not good ; fresh fish as received even on the Nilgiris, 
is not cheap, and it is often not good. The necessary 
first cost of ice in the tropics (necessary because of the 
temperature of both water and air, because of the small 
size of the plant in use, because of the cost of skilled 
attendance), etc., the large necessary wastage, the large 
quantity required on long journeys especially in the 
absence of refrigerating cars or compartments, the dis- 
tance and consequent cost of transport of bulky ice 
parcels, are all against cheapness, while fish in general 
cannot be completely trusted, however thoroughly iced, 
which are caught, brought to shore, and delivered at the 
icing places, by the methods and with the delays now in 
vogue. Moreover, since fresh fish contains 75 per cent 
of water it must always be an expensive food, especially 
to send up-country, when ice and transport have to be 
provided for this 75 per cent of water, while the nature 
and method of the packing and transport still leave 
much to be desired ; direct contact with scanty ice while 
on long journeys at tropical temperatures, tends also to 
sodden the fish. 

As reported in previous years I have sought to 
substitute light-cured fish for fresh fish, and have very 



75 

fairly succeeded ; this class offish, now including" prawns, 
will keep good for some days and eat very well. But 
when in England in 1912 other methods of keeping fish 
fresh v/ere studied, two of which were specially noticed 
that year by the trade. One, viz., the method of conserva- 
tion by CO^ (carbonic acid gas) is not practicable in this 
country, demanding plant and materials which are very 
expensive, while the cost of vessels strong enough to 
contain gas at a pressure of several atmospheres and, 
above all, the cost of transport of fish by road and rail in 
such vessels, puts the process — even if successful — out 
of court. The other method (Henderson's) was taught 
me by the inventor and has great possibilities; he has 
generously permitted us to use his process freely in India 
" for the good of the people " and has communicated 
further improvements ; refrigeration is the method 
adopted but the details difter largely from those of 
ordinary freezing and packing in ice, should make both 
the freezing and the transport cheaper, and should give 
far more satisfactory results. The method was tried in 
an imperfect way — imperfect for want of the correct 
plant - but the results were eminently satisfactory ; the 
cost, as carried out, was unduly high since ice at six pies 
per pound had to be substituted for mechanical refrigera- 
tion, but the result showed that fish could be despatched 
zvithoiit ice and yet keep perfectly good, even on the 
plains, for three days ; fish sent (without ice) to Tuticorin, 
etc., was excellent on the third day. With plant recently 
sanctioned by Goverrmient this line of experiment will be 
pursued during the current year. 

15. Pisciculture '-Marine. — The detailed plan and 
estimates for the 160 acre 7 lagoon fish-farm at Tuticorin 
mentioned in paragraph 28 of last year's report were not 
received from the Public Works Department in time for 
execution during the year under report. 

The oyster farm at Pulicat was continued by Mr. 
Hornell as Marine Assistant, and proved many things ; 
conclusively that excellent oysters can be cultivated in 
sanitary conditions with much ease and profit and 
marketed in the best condition within 20 months from 
spat-fall ; in July 191 2 the oysters spawned in November 
19 10 were fully mature and in splendid condition for 
market. But it is also true that, as in other tropical 
enterprises, especially those of the cultivation of the soil, 



76 

the unexpected occurs ; the PuHcat bar closed during the 
year — this happens about once in five years it is said — 
and consequently the oysters were, soon after reaching 
maturity, troubled by alternate droughts, leading to undue 
salinity and high water-temperature, and by floods of fresh 
water causing sudden tails in salinity and inundations of 
mud. Hence the oysters suffered heavily in numbers 
and condition from unforeseen external causes. But 
with the re-opening of the bar normal conditions returned, 
an abundant spat-fall took place so that the collectors, 
cultch, etc., were covered with brood, and there is now a 
fine crop of young oysters which should mature in July 
1914 ; the older oysters recovered also and were put on 
the market about the close of the year under report. 
This temporary set-back in no way aflects the results of 
the experiment as a matter of successful cultivation ; 
conception, method, and results were excellent, but the 
locality was subjected to unforeseen adversities ab 
extra. The experiments will hereafter be conducted 
both at Pulicat, Tuticorin, and probably elsewhere, in 
the light of the experience now gained. Pulicat was 
originally selected as fairly handy to Madras, but 
Mr. Hornell has repeatedly pointed out that it is not an 
ideal situation compared with other localities both on the 
east and west coast. 

Mr. Hornell wrote during the year an informing 
pamphlet on oysters as food ; this has recently been 
issued to the public. 

16. Piscicidtiire — Fresh-ivatcr. — This was continued 
by Mr. H, C. Wilson as Piscicultural Expert who 
completed his first term of service with Gov^ernment 
during the year, and has been re-appointed to the post 
whicli has now been made permanent. 

As in previous years the Sunkesula fish farm was 
the piece de resistance ; a long step was taken towards 
the object of its institution, by the stocking of 41 miles 
of the Kurnool canal with carp, and Mr. Wilson reports 
that the fish rentals have nearly doubled. The murrel 
farm was brought to a stage when sale became not only 
advisable but necessary, and Government sanctioned 
the building of a special market stall in Kurnool where 
live fish will be sold ; being air-breathers murrel travel 
well for at least 24 hours and can therefore be despatched 
to out-stations. The character and work of the farm 



11 

has been described in some detail in an inspection note 
printed in G.O. No. 782, Revenue, dated 15th March 
19 1 3, which led to a demand from the Government of 
India for copies of the farm plan. 

Minor operations consisted in the stocking and 
conserving of several large tanks, while conservancy 
operations proper were also conducted as usual in the 
upper Vv^aters of the Bhavani, Moyar, and Cauvery. The 
hilsa-hatching operations on the Coleroon were a failure 
in 19 1 2, owing to the difficulty in obtaining ripe females. 
Mr. Wilson observes that this difficulty occasionally 
happens in America with shad, and technical papers 
lately received from the United States of America show 
that this has just occurred there on a large scale. 

Mr. Wilson's more difficult work lay in working out 
certain important projects, viz., that at Allur in Nellore, 
to take the place of the Kanigiri project to which the 
Public Works Department refused assent for technical 
reasons relating to the Kanigiri reservoir, and a new 
one at the Colair lake in which floating hatchery is to 
provide swarms of hilsa fry which should not only greatly 
increase the yields of hilsa in the Godavari and Kistna 
rivers, but furnish stock for transport to the west coast 
rivers ; in addition to the hilsa hatchery a large murrel 
farm will be located in a position whence the fish can be 
transported in quantities by rail to various markets. 
Both these projects are still in the stage of investigation. 
Mr. Wilson is also engaged on a scheme for acclimatising 
tench from the Nilgiris for use in our waters on the 
plains. 

Incidentally in boring for fresh-water at Nellore it 
v/as discovered that semi-artesian water was available, 
the water rising in a 70-ibot bore to within 3 feet of the 
surface after the tools had passed through a thick bed of 
clay ; this fact may be of use agriculturally. 

The Nilgiri trout prospered during the year and 
Mr. Wilson reports that Rs. 1,495 were obtained 
from licenses. Poaching by men and otters unfortunately 
developed, and the supplies of fish food proved insuffici* 
ent for the large head of rapidly grov/ing fish, some 
weighing 6 lb. and over, so that Mr. Wilson has had to 
introduce shrimps and other live food from lower waters. 

A most useful investigation was made at Sunkesula 
in the growth and observation of various classes of fish 



7S 

for the destruction of mosquito larvae ; aquarium experi- 
ments were continued in a pond of considerable size and 
from the data obtained Mr. Wilson read a very practical 
paper at the " All India Malaria Conference" in Madras 
city which are now found to be free from larvae ; he also 
supplied a number of Municipalities with the necessary 
fish carriers for stocking- purposes. His paper shows 
that the Chelaeargentea is a most efficient larvicide, and 
that his ponds, of considerable size, are kept entirely 
free from mosquito larvae, chiefly by their activity ; 
besides these the various species of Haplochilus are 
very useful and can be transported to long distances ; 
for brackish and salt waters and swamps he recommends 
the Therapon jdj^biia. 

Madras fresh-water pisciculture is a most difficult 
subject owing mainly to the non-permanence of its waters 
and their use in irrigation ; hence the framing and 
execution of practical projects is a matter of great difficulty 
which Mr. Wilson is gradually overcoming. 

1/ Pearl and chank /iskejy. — The supervision of 
operations in this branch is Mr. Hornell's work ; these 
are separately and fully reported on as usual. The year 
was one of comparatively poor yield owing mainly to 
unpropitious weather and the increasing difficulties of 
obtaining divers. The net profit was Rs. 10,124 to 
which the motor-boat Sutherland contributed largely by 
towing canoes out in weather w^hen they could not 
otherwise have reached the banks or returned from them. 
Mr. Hornell's report deals in detail with the work, past 
and prospective, in chanks and pearls, and it is hoped 
that a new era will begin this year with the advent of 
the new motor inspection vessel and with other ex- 
pected advantages, in which the Tuticorin fish farm should 
take a prominent part since the cultivation not merely 
of the pearl oyster but of pearls will be a feature of the 
operations under the skilled experiments of Mr. Hornell. 
The South Arcot chank contractor duly paid his rental 
and has now tendered for the Tanjore collection. 

During the year Mr. Hornell wrote the second and 
a valuable part of his monograph on chanks, taking up 
the matter from a social, industrial, and artistic point of 
view ; this has been printed and is now before Govern- 
ment ; also several articles on fish parasites, the cyclic 
character of the pearl fisheries, etc. 



79 

Experiments were made in England by an engineer- 
ing firm, skilled in similar matters, in the cutting of the 
chank shell by machine tools, but with poor results ; 
being porcellaneous in character and of peculiar corpus- 
cular structure which results in brittleness in the sections 
if roughly sawn, it cannot be dealt with by ordinary 
shell-cuttino- machine tools, such as are used in makino- 
buttons, etc., from nacreous shells, but apparently 
requires either the slow rhythmic motions of a heavy 
but finely toothed tool worked by the delicate human 
hand, or a wheel similar to a lapidary's slitting wheel, 
charo'ed with a first-class cuttino- material such as 
diamond dust or possibly carborundum.^ 

i8. A very important matter, viz., that of net-making 
by hand- worked looms was specially investigated by Mr. 
Govindan who of his own initiative examined the matter 
in Scotland, Ireland, and Cornwall ; on obtaining sanction 
for the purchase of a machine an order was placed in 
Bridport, and Mr. Govindan spent a month (partly while 
on privilege leave) in mastering the setting up and 
workino- of the machine. This is intended for instruc- 
tional purposes on the west coast where nets, as Mr. 
Govindan had found, cannot be made fast enouofh to 
supply the demand ; a single machine will do as much 
work as a villao-e of fishermen, and better work. The 
Cornish method of curing pilchards together with that 
of expressing the oil and packing the fish in barrels, and 
of making the barrels, was closely studied on the spot, 
and the question of the provision of fresh fish by refrigera- 
tion was not only closely examined (as in Henderson's 
experimental factory ; see supra, paragraph i8) but the 
manufacturers of refrigerating machinery were inter- 
viewed. Mr. Govindan is submitting a special report 
on his tour of duty and his personal share in numerous 
investigations. 

The project for a marine aquarium and marine 
biological station advanced to the production of 
architect's plans in the preparation of which Mr. 
Hornell's expert assistance was sought and given. Apart 
altogether from the need for purely scientific research, 



* Later enquiries were made in July 1914 at the Impeiial Institute, London. 
The Director, Dr Wyndhani Dunstan, f.r.s., was good enough to take u]i 
the matter, and from samples of machine cut sections which he has obtained, it 
seems that success is now probable with machines of no great cost. 



8o 

there are many practical problems presenting- themselves 
for enquiry ; such for instance as the life history of food 
fishes, of the organisms they feed upon, and of their 
enemies, the examination of various marine products, 
and so forth. For such purposes, as well as for research 
by savants and students, and for the provision of speci- 
mens of marine life for scientific and educational pur- 
poses, the new institution with its laboratories, library, 
aad museum, will be most valuable, while providing in 
the aquarium proper a means of popular and most 
iiterestino- instruction. 

19. Progress. — The work of " Fisheries," having 
h'therto been mainly that of enquiry and experiment, has 
only been slightly devoted to demonstration ; hence there 
has not yet been much positive advance in fishery 
matters among the fisherfolk and curers themselves. But 
the work of the Government experimental stations, the 
attempts in several places to start out on the new lines, 
the awakening of public interest in fisheries, the training 
of several men, including our own staff, in the stations, 
and the visits of enquirers, have already produced a new 
public interest in fishery development — a very good 
beginning among conservative folk in an industry 
hitherto wholly untouched by progress or even by 
industrial thought. 



8i 

Letter — from Sir Frederick Nicholson, k.c.i.e., Honorary 

Director of Fisheries. 
Dated — Madras, the loth June/ 13th July 19 14. 

I have the honour to submit my annual Fisheries 
Report for 191 3-14. 

2. The staff remained as in 19 12-13 except that 
Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., Personal Assistant to the 
Honorary Director, was, by G.O. No. 1095, dated 13th 
April 1 9 14, made a gazetted officer with the appellation 
of Assistant Director and a salary of Rs. 400 per 
mensem, the post of Personal Assistant being abolished, 
while Mr. A. K. Menon, recently a Government of India 
student in England in the oil and soap industries, was 
appointed temporarily as Oil Chemist and posted to 
this department on a pay of Rs. 250 per mensem (G.O. 
^o- 3553' dated 3rd December 1913). 

3. The principal operations in hand were — 

(i) The West Coast station for experimental 
curing, canning and the production of fish oil and 
guano ; 

(2) the oyster farm at Pulicat ; 

(3) the Sunkesula fish farm ; 

(4) the stocking of certain tanks ; 

(5) the preparation of important piscicultural 
projects including the Tuticorin marine fish farm, the 
Nellore carp and murrel farm, the Colair Lake hilsa 
hatchery and murrel farm, the acclimatisation of tench 
on the plains, etc. ; 

(6) the usual pearl and chank fishery ; 

(7) work by Mr. Wilson in anti-malarial operations 
such as the breeding and distribution of larvicidal fish ; 

(8) the conservation of the upper waters of the 
Bhavani and Moyar on the lower slopes of the Nilgiris ; 

(9) the conservation and development of the trout 
in the upper Nilgiris ; 

(10) work by the Oil Chemist ; and 

(11) miscellaneous. 

4. Experimental station, Malabar. — This, as in 
191 2- 1 3, was located at Tanur and Calicut ; remarks are 
the same as in paragraph 6 in the report of that year. 

5. Fish-oil and guano. — The work mentioned in 
paragraph 7 of last year's report was continued at Tanijr 
and improved ; the percentage of first-class yellow oil 
now obtained is larger than in 1912-13, and averages 

6 



82 

above 50 per cent of the outturn ; this oil was recently 
described by a European buying- firm as " unique," by 
reason of its purity, colour and slight odour ; the Oil 
Chemist attached to the department has also given it a 
hio'h technical value. 

The conditions of manufacture were aeain un- 
fortunate, as the shoals of fat fish were not only few but 
ceased at a very early date ; this was the case all along 
the coast and merchants who had made forward contracts 
were seriously embarrassed. Most of the best oil was 
retained for experimental purposes, but a good profit 
was nevertheless realised on this manufacture. 

The profits ordinarily obtainable may be gauged by 
the fact that as against the single factory of 1908-09 
there were at the close of the year no less than 211 
private factories in Malabar and South Canara, the 
former district having two-thirds of the number. More- 
over, the quantity of fish guano (that is, the dried 
product obtained from the boiled fish) exported by sea 
alone, increased — notwithstanding the shortness, etc., of 
the season — to 4,726 tons as against 1,872 in the 
previous year ; to this must be added the exports by 
road and rail which are not known. The above weioht 
of guano represents at least 25,000 tons of raw fish, so 
that the new method, due entirely to the work of this 
department, is now taking an appreciable share in the 
fish manure trade, while the oil represents a gain 
hitherto lost. The oil exports by sea were 1,511 tons, 
of which above half went to Germany. 

6. It may here be well to mention a point of 
importance, viz., the apparent economic sin of turning 
these fish, so valuable as food, into a soil fertiliser. At 
first sight it seems wrong (and the sentiment has been 
reflected in previous reports) that good nourishing 
human food should be turned into manure. But there 
are considerations which, especially in the tropics, put a 
different complexion on the matter: (i) that with the 
present means at disposal, or, at all events, under 
indigenous methods of curing, the masses of sardine 
which are sometimes caught in vast quantities within a 
few hours, cannot be turned into safe and wholesome 
food (especially when the fish is very oily) owing to the 
rapidity of tainting and the paucity of labour, so that the 
turning of the fish into fertiliser either as guano or as 



83 

dried fish manure is a necessity ; (2) that when the fish 
is not oily it is of inferior value as food ; (3) that when 
fish is deprived of its oil (itself a very valuable commodity) 
oris non-oily, tiie residue or mass, if skilfully applied as a 
soil fertiliser, produces more human nutriment in the 
shape of cereals, etc., than if it were consumed directly, 
as fish. Hence the method of reducing the fat fish to oil 
and guano, or the lean fish to ordinary manure, does 
not necessarily deprive the country of food, but increases 
the total supply and yields an economic and industrial 
o-ain. 

7. In this connection it may be conveniently men- 
tioned here that enquiries in Great Britain and a perusal 
of agricultural reports showed that fish meal or scrap is 
very largely used in western countries as food for cattle, 
poultry, etc. Correspondence ensued in 191 3 with the 
Colleoe of Aorriculture at Coimbatore and a half-ton 
parcel of lightly salted and dried lean sardine was sent 
to the college in April 19 13. The experiments con- 
ducted there are said to have been very successful, 
and though no details have been communicated to 
this department it is understood that a report is being 
drawn up on the matter. The success or otherwise of 
the food turns largely on the question of price which 
is very variable. 

8. Curing, — The year was a bad one for fishermen 
in general, and our station being without the aid of any 
deep-sea boats such as those from Ratnagiri, no great 
advance was made except in two directions, viz., the 
treatment of fat sardines like Cornish pilchards and the 
curing of prawns. 

9. Pile hardi sing fat sardines. — In the previous year 
instructions were sent .out from Cornwall to treat fat 
sardines as pilchards, viz., to cure and harden the ttn- 
giitted fish by several weeks in heavy salt (i lb. salt to 3 
of fish) and then to submit them to pressure in barrels 
when much of the oil is extracted, and the fish remain as 
a hard mass in the barrels ; these are largely exported to 
Italy. It was found that the method was successful, and 
a very good oil was obtained, but for various reasons 
the cured fish did not keep properly. The experiment 
was repeated in the year under report, but the pressure 
was still insufficient ; the fish, however, kept well for 
months. Regular pilchard screws for applying pressure 

6-A 



84 

were obtained during the year from Plymouth, and a 
proper pressing battery will be set up and tried in the 
current year. 

It will be observed that this is one method of satisfy- 
ing the demand for fish as human food while obtaining 
the valuable oil as a separate product ; since the fish are 
not gutted they can be very rapidly placed beyond fear 
of taint, for they are simply roused up at once with the 
salt just as they are received from the sea, while the 
large quantity of salt used keeps the fish good almost 
indefinitely if the air is kept away from them ; this is 
secured by retaining them airtight in the barrels in 
which they were pressed, while the heavy pressure used 
consolidates the fish into an indurated yet slightly moist 
mass. These fish boiled up with rice and vegetables, 
as the pressed pilchards are cooked in Italy, should 
prove very good food. 

lo. The curing of prawns is a useful advance. 
Hitherto the only method known to the general curer 
was that of simply strewing the prawns, wholly unsalted, 
on the beach to dry, the resulting product is always 
badly tainted or of very strong odour. Moreover, as 
prawns are mostly caught in large quantities in the mon- 
soon period (e.g., prawns worth Rs. 15,000 at low prices 
were caught in a single day at Tanur in July) it is often 
difficult to dry them at all ; consequently, while the 
fishermen get low prices for their catches, the curers run 
the risk of losing both their money and their prawns. 
Obviously then it is necessary to cure or preserve the 
prawns by salting, etc., and to find some mode of drying 
them. 

The first step now taken at Tanur is to boil the 
prawns in salt water and thus to sterilise and partly 
cure them, the second is to shell the boiled prawns, 
the third to salt or brine them for a few minutes only, 
since the shelled flesh rapidly take up salt, the fourth 
to semi-dry them. It is found that this method yields 
a product which is suitable for the best tables, and keeps 
perfectly for months, while, being only semi — instead of 
bone — dry, it retains the prawn flavour and with but 
slight soaking is an excellent and nutritive article of diet. 
Fully-dried prawns are comparatively savourless, and 
are both difficult to cook and to digest ; the semi-dried 
prawns have none of these disadvantages. 



85 

1 1. But the shelling process is too slow when dealing 
with large masses, and it was subsequently found that the 
fish can be equally well salted whole — after boiling — and 
can then, if necessary, be shelled more at leisure, or 
semi-dried in the shell. 

These products have been tried scores of times with 
invariable success and great appreciation by consumers ; 
instructions have now been drawn up for trying experi- 
ments on a considerable scale and with improved 
methods during the current season. 

12. Drying, — For artificial drying, as mentioned in 
previous reports, two driers have been put up ; the 
large one, intended for drying manures, has not yet 
been used as it requires personal supervision and in- 
struction during the first experiments. The small one 
intended for drying fish, prawns, etc., has been fre- 
quently operated with success, but it is difficult to teach 
ignorant men the true method of operating a drier even 
when worked with a simple slow combustion stove. 
Full instructions have been issued for further work 
during the monsoon. No drier can be both cheap and 
automatic, and automatic working, i.e., working which 
will go on at equal temperatures and without attention, 
is essential in a country where inattention, especially at 
night, is certain, so that fires either go out or burn too 
fiercely and where it is difficult to get men to understand 
the principles of drying so that night and day drying, or 
drying in hot weather or in the monsoon are treated alike. 

13. Canning. — Much of my personal attention was 
devoted during the year to continuing and improving 
the canning experiments begun in January 191 2. As 
the plant available was still only the small experimental 
plant of 1912, only a few thousand tins were packed, 
chiefly with sardines (plain, i.e., without oil, in curry, or 
with oil), mackerel and whole prawns, while prawn and 
smoked mackerel paste were also made in some quantity. 
Considerable advances have been made in technical 
success, especially in the use of the oils obtained from 
England ; it was also found that the first-class sardine 
oil made in the Government factory is an excellent 
packing oil, and this opens out a large additional market 
for such oil and a method of cheapening canned 
fish ; experiments will be continued next season in oil 
packing. 



86 

The canned products find a very appreciative 
market, and the difficulty is not to sell the goods but to 
supply the demand, especially as experience has now 
taught us that the lean fish of the later season are use- 
less for canning plain or in oil, and require some addition 
such as curry-powder or tomato or mustard sauce. 

14. The new solderless plant from England arrived 
during the year, but owing to difficulties about a site the 
factory for its accommodation is only now being built, 
and will be ready for next season's work, when, if fish 
are available, it will be possible to turn out thousands 
of cans where we now pack only hundreds. The new 
factory is at Beypore where it will have the advantage 
of supplies from both sea and estuary, while even the 
deep sea boats can come up to the factory gates. 

15. Fish paste work was also successful, but requires 
a somewhat larger and better plant which, wiiile costing 
only a trifle, will enable us to perfect our standard 
products. 

16. The labelling as "sardines " of canned fish other 
than the immature " Clupea pilchardus," alluded to in 
paragraph 17 of last year's report, has been magisterially 
declared illegal in Great Britain, but the matter is 
under appeal. The use of the words " Indian sardines " 
for our fish is certainly justifiable. 

17. Fresh fish. — The useful process mentioned in 
paragraph 18 of last year's report was again experi- 
mented on with much success, but was not carried out 
in its integrity as the refrigerating plant ordered in the 
autumn was only received in March, too late for being- 
set up during the season. It is now being placed in 
position at Beypore, and will be thoroughly tried next 
season. 

18. The possession of this small refrigerating plant 
will at last render possible the method of fish drying in 
vacuo with a vacuum stove of my own which has been 
awaiting proper trial for several years. It will also 
enable me to experiment in a preservative method of 
great promise and cheapness. 

The preservative method alluded to at the end of 
paragraph 18 of the previous report has also awaited 
the receipt of the refrigerating plant, but as it has been 
patented in India and apparently demands a chemical 
(HgOg) which in the tropics is of great instability and 



87 

cost, success is doubtful. The matter will be enquired 
into ill London, etc., during my present visit to 
England. 

19. Deep-sea fishing. — This has not yet been prac- 
ticable, since the energies of the staff in initiation and 
supervision are limited by the natural bounds of human 
capacity, and the personnel is insufficient. Moreover, 
as decided several years ago, it was thought advisable, 
especially with a limited staff and scanty experience and 
imperfect boat equipment, to endeavour to deal and to 
show the best methods of dealing, with existing catches, 
which amount to hundreds of thousands of tons, before 
attempting to increase the bulk of the catches, A full- 
sized department working upon intelligent, enterprising 
material might have attempted both classes of operation 
simultaneously, but a small staft, gradually feeling its 
way, devising its own methods and gathering its expe- 
rience from its own experiments, necessarily limited its 
operations and took the line of least resistance and 
difficulty. Hence, and for other reasons, the master- 
fisherman, sanctioned in G.O. No. 822, dated 21st 
March 191 2, has not yet been recruited, but this omis- 
sion will, it is expected, be supplied during the current 
year and a scheme for his employment has already been 
drawn up for submission to Government. The new 
curing station at Beypore with the shelter for sea-going 
boats provided in the river estuary will enable us to 
turn attention to the catching as well as to the curing 
branches of our work. 

20. Pisciculture — Fresh-water. — Mr. H. C. Wilson 
continued to be Piscicultural Expert throughout the 
year and, while supervising practical operations on the 
Nilgiris and at Sunkesula fish farm, toured extensively 
in eight other districts for the preparation of projects 
and, very specially, on anti-malarial duty. 

21. Sunkesula fish farm. — In this farm the operations 
of the previous year were continued and some sixty 
miles of the Kurnool-Cuddapah Canal were stocked 
with young fish, while the experiments in the breed- 
ing and sale of murrel were carried a stage further. 
Mr. Wilson reports as follows : — 

" 9. General 7vork. — The general work at the Sunkesula fish farm 
progressed during the year, the new Superintendent taking more 
interest in the detail work, keeping the screens in order, etc. 



88 

" lo. Experiments were carried out with the eggs and fry of 
Ophiocephalus punctatus and O. striatus re hatching and rearing 
under artificial conditions. 

" 1 1. It was discovered that several minute water-insects play an 
important part in the destruction of the ova and fry under natural 
conditions. The worst offender in this respect was found to be the 
small water-flea Daphnia pulex. These minute insects attack and 
destroy the fry in their early stages and the ova throughout the 
hatching period. Frogs destroy both ova and fry, but the parents 
who guard their eggs and young can deal with this natural enemy, 
whereas they are helpless in the former case. 

" 12. Fishermen take advantage of this parental afTection for the 
capture of the big fish. They locate a nest and bait with a frog which 
they dangle in close proximity to the eggs or fry and the parent fish 
are easily caught. The eggs or young fry are then left to the mercy 
of all enemies and consequently very few, if any, survive out of the 
original number in the nest. 

" 13. The experiments were to determine the following, viz : — 
(i) most suitable hatching appliances ; 

(2) periods of hatching at different temperature ; 

(3) most suitable water temperature for producing healthy fry ; 

(4) best artificial food for rearing fry ; and 

(5) rate of growth, etc. 

" 14. These experiments are not yet complete, but a lot of useful 
information was obtained. 

" 15. The most suitable hatching appliances were found to be glass 
tanks where the eggs and fry can be kept under constant observation 
and the presence of minute enemies detected at once. The water 
temperature ranged between 76^ and 84-^ F., an average temperature 
of 78-" seemed to be preferable. Various artificial foods were tried, 
the most suitable for the very early stages (just after absorption of 
the yolk sack) seemed to be the soup of crushed crab. 

" 16. Notes on the periods of hatching rate and growth of fry were 
taken together with specimen fish carefully preserved at various 
stages. 

" 17. Before any work can be published on the artificial hatching 
and rearing and most suitable appliances for dealing with these 
particular fish, it will be necessary to carry out further experiments 
and this will be done in due course " 

Many thousands of murrel fry were removed from the Sunkesula 
farm during the year and turned into Edurur swamp for growing 
purposes. Large numbers of the quick-growing varieties of carp from 
the farm were distributed over 60 miles of the Kurnool-Cuddapah 
Canal. Great difficulty of rapid transport is found and I am afraid 
to transport fish below the locks to Nandyal, Ayyavankodur and 
Kanala tanks would take too long with the present methods and they 
will have to rely for the present on the extra fish from the upper 
waters. The motor-boat unfortunately was found not powerful enough 
for this work. 

* * * * 

During the year under review a new and valuable larvicide 
Poly acanthus cupanus was transported from the West Coast (Cochin) 
to the Sunkesula fish farm for breeding and distribution purposes. 



89 

Some fresh blood was introduced amongst the other lavicides at the 
farm from Cuddapah ( HaplochUui panchax). 

* * * * 

Live fish viarket. — The construction of the live fish market 
sanctioned in G.O. No. 1191, Revenue, dated 23rd April 1913, was 
completed and fish will be sold therein soon after the opening of the 
canal, i.e., after the 15 th June next. 

23. Allur and Ippur. — A great deal of investigatory 
work, especially in boring for fresh water, was done at 
Allur in the Nellore district where an apparently excel- 
lent site had been selected by Mr. Wilson for a farm in 
substitution for that originally proposed at Kanigiri 
which the Public Works Department were unable, for 
irrigational reasons, to sanction. But since an abundant 
fresh water-supply was a necessity, and the borings 
yielded only salt water, this site also had to be abandoned. 
It is interesting to note that the water in the bores was 
apparently artesian rising nearly to the surface, and was, 
in at least one case, of double the salinity of sea-water ; 
it is possible that salt might be more readily made from 
this supply than from sea-water. Mr. Wilson subse- 
quently found a site at Ippur in the same deltaic tract 
which fulfils his wishes and he spent a good deal of time 
on the new project which has recently been submitted 
to Government. 

24. Colair scheme. — This remains in abeyance since 
the removal of stake-nets and fixed enoines from the 
lake, river and channels is a preliminary condition sine 
quel non ; it is understood that the matter is under con- 
sideration in the Public Works Department. 

25. Acclimatisation of tench. — Mr. Wilson, after 
some search, discovered a site near Hosur which will form 
the first stage in acclimatising tench from the Nilgiris ; 
thence they will be taken to Sunkesula and other farms. 

26. Hilsa hatching. — Very little work was done in 
this matter as ripe spawners were not obtainable when 
Mr. Wilson visited the Lower Anicut. 

27. Stocking of tanks Two large tanks were stocked, 

viz., Daroji and Markapur. It may be stated here that 
the rentals obtained from the canal and tank fisheries 
slightly exceeded the compensatory grants paid by 
Government to the District Boards. 

28. TJic breeding of larvicidal fish. — Much of Mr. 
Wilson's time and energy during the year were, by order 



90 

of Government, turned to anti-malarial work in visiting- 
malarial tracts and in the breeding and distribution of 
larvicidal fish. He had experimented at Sunkesula on 
these larvicides, and had given demonstrations and 
instructions to local bodies, and had read a practical 
paper at the Anti-malarial Conference in the previous 
year ; his success resulted in his deputation to Cuddapah 
to examine the town and its surroundings and to stock 
its waters with larvicides. 

This work is likely to prove of immense value in the 
near future and Mr. Wilson is to be congratulated on 
his foresight in the experiments made by him in previous 
years at Sunkesula on the breeding of these larvicides. 

A similar investigation was, by order of Government, 
carried out by him in company with Major Ross, I. M.S., 
on the conditions obtaining at Cochin which appeared 
to favour elephantiasis ; Mr. Wilson submitted a joint 
report on this matter. 

29. Nilgiri operations. — These under Mr. Wilson, 
continued to be most successful ; the stock of trout is 
said to be very great both in the number and size of the 
fish, and fresh supplies of live fish food had to be intro- 
duced. 

30. Conservancy operations in the upper waters of 
the Bhavani and Moyar continued as in previous years. 

31. Pisciciilttu^e — Marine. — Mr. Hornell, f.l.s., as 
Marine Assistant, writes as follows; — 

Edible oyster-culture. — During the past year the oyster farm at 
Pulirat became fully stocked with many hundreds of thousands of 
oysters produced from the abundant spatfall of November 191 2. The 
growth of these young oysters ha^ been so rapid and satisfactory that 
it was decided to begin selling operations in January of this year, 
when the oysters were fifteen months old. The season was therefore 
opened with these oysters on 23rd January last and between that date 
and 31st March 1914, 21,450 oysters were sold. The sales of the 
oysters for the year ending 31st March 1914 amounted to 37,400 and 
brought in the sum of Rs. 458-12-6. 

Fish farm at Tutlcorin. — In spite of all efforts to expedite delivery 
the material requisite for the barriers between the lagoon and the sea 
was not received till January of this year, when it was too late to begin 
operations as the run of fry necessary for the stocking of the farm 
was over for the season. All material requisite is now in stock and 
as soon as the rains come the farm will be stocked and the barriers 
erected. Meanwhile samples of the fish frequenting the lagoon are 
obtained at regular intervals whereby much information useful to the 
future conduct of the farm, is being accumulated. 



91 

While on privilege leave during the year Mr. Hor- 
nell devoted a considerable period to the study of 
practical mussel-culture in the south of France, in view 
to work out here in the near future. The controlled 
culture of pearl oysters and of pearls is noticed below. 

32. Pearl and chunk fishery. — This will, as usual, be 
separately reported on in detail ; only salient features 
will be mentioned here. 

2i'^. Pearl fishery. — There is no prospect for years 
of any pearl fishery on the Tinnevelly banks, owing to 
the absence of oysters, but an inspection of the Palk 
Bay waters near Tondi resulted in the discovery of a 
fairly mature bed of oysters estimated at twenty millions 
in number, and a fishery will probably be held there in 
September next. The fact is remarkable because no 
pearl fishery or pearl oyster bed has ever been known 
before in Palk Bay which is north of the Pamban chan- 
nel, all fisheries having hitherto taken place to the south 
in the Gulf of Manaar where alone pearl oyster beds 
have been worked from time immemorial. Moreover, 
Mr. Hornell reports that the oysters are living on a 
bottom much softer and more muddy than he has ever 
known them to thrive on elsewhere. It is also note- 
worthy that this new discovery in Palk Bay is due 
partly to the recent renting of the Ramnad chank fish- 
eries from the Raja of Ramnad which led Mr. Hornell 
to turn attention to that area, but mainly to the acquisi- 
tion in October 19 13 of the inspection schooner Z<3:</^' 
Nicholson which enabled Mr. Hornell to survey the area 
in question upon hearing reports that pearl oysters had 
been picked up on the Tondi shore ; Mr. Hornell's zeal 
and perseverance under trying conditions then enabled 
him to locate the bed in question. As the first fruits of 
the new schooner's work the discovery is very gratifying. 

34. Pearl cidtiLre. — Mr. Hornell drew up during the 
year a scheme for cultivating the pearl oyster under 
controllable conditions in a regular farm, and for induc- 
ing the growth of pearls, both attached and free, in 
these controlled oysters. He found an excellent site on 
Krusadai island close to Pamban, and sketch plans and 
estimate for the farm have recently been submitted to 
Government. The recent discovery of pearl oyster in 
Palk Bay will provide abundant material for the farm 



92 

where oysters will be grown and treated for the produc- 
tion of pearls. From Japanese facts it is almost certain 
that the farm will be very lucrative, even if only 
"attached" pearls are grown, but Mr. Hornell is 
sanguine of success in inducing the growth of the more 
valuable " free " pearls and has already forwarded a 
paper to the Linnasan Society with specimens of his 
first results in this direction. 

35. Mr. Hornell has also ascertained facts in the life 
history of the pearl oyster which show that its free 
swimming stage endures far considerably longer than 
was hitherto believed ; this is important in considering 
the chances of spatfalls. In this connection may be 
mentioned Mr. Hornell's arrangements for ascertaining 
the set of the currents in the Gulf of Manaar, by means 
of drifting bottles; he is now carrying this out on an 
extended scale. 

36. Chank fishery. — Mr. Hornell writes as fol- 
lows : — 

" 3. The chank fisheries. — The past year is notable for the final 
consolidation under direct Government control of the whole of the 
chank fisheries carried on off the East Coast of this Presidency. 
This has been attained partly by leasing the Ramnfid fishery from 
the Raja of Ramnad and partly by assertion of immemorial sovereign 
privilege. By proclamation in the Fort St. George Gazette, dated 
23rd December 1913, Go^'ernment reminded the public that the right 
to fish chanks in the sea bordering the various districts of the Presi- 
dency is a prerogative vesting from time immemorial in Government. 
The position being thus defined, it became possible to extend fishing 
leases the whole length of the Coromandel Coast, from Tanjore in 
the south to Nellore in the north. Further north it is unnecessary 
to go as Nellore district marks the effective northern limit of chank 
distribution in the Eastern Coast of India. The rights to farm the 
fisheries off {a) Tanjore, (/') South Arcot and (^) Chingleput and 
Nellore distiicts, have now been leased out and bring in respectively 
Rs. 660, Rs. 516-10-8 and Rs. 336-10-8 per annum, the whole of 
the remainder of the East Coast to the south of Tanjore being fished 
departmentally. 

The control of the Rfimnfid (and Sivaganga) chank fisheries 
should react favourably on work on the Tinnevelly beds, since the 
two fisheries are at somewhat different seasons, so that it will be 
possible, by inducing divers from Tuticorin to fish on the Ramnad 
coast and vice versa, not only to get a greater force of divers to 
work at each place, but to give comparatively continuous work to 
them, and thus remove one main cause of the discontent felt by 
divers whose work has hitherto been confined to short periods, which, 
moreover, if conditions were unfavourable were sometimes very 
unremunerative." 



93 

The Coromandel fisheries as Mr. Hornell rightly 
names those of the Tanjore-Nellore coast, have been 
temporarily leased out to contractors pending the con- 
solidation of work on the southern area. 

2)"]. The net profits from chanks during the year will 
be something over Rs. 20,000 plus receipts from the 
Ramnad fishery which however, has only just begun. 
The arrangement with Messrs. Dutt & Son for the 
purchase of all the Tinnevelly and Tanjore chanks was 
renewed for five years at somewhat better rates. A con- 
tract has also been arranged at satisfactory prices for the 
purchase of the Ramnad shells. 

38. Oil Chemist. — By G.O. No. 3553, Revenue, 
dated 3rd December 19 13, Mr. A. K. Menon was 
appointed temporarily as Oil Chemist. My reasons for 
supporting this appointment are stated at length in my 
letter read in the above Government Order. Mr Menon 
beoan work at the Indian Institute for Technical Research 
at Bangalore by kind permission of Dr. Morris Travers, 
F.R.S., but the institute closed for the vacation at the end 
of March before Mr. Menon was able to do more than 
begin work. 

39. Miscellaneous. — Under this head comes an im- 
mense variety of work. Much of it has been done by 
Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., late Personal Assistant, but now 
Assistant Director. BeinQ- a Malabar man with a ereat 
knowledge of the people, their difficulties, wants and 
objections, commanding their confidence and with a 
philanthropic bent, he is able to undertake various diffi- 
cult branches of work in addition to the work done by 
him as Personal Assistant. The inculcation of co-opera- 
tion and thrift has been undertaken by him with the 
beginnings of success, though fisher- folk are very hard 
to move ; co-operation is very desirable where the men 
are so ignorant, poor, and bound by custom, and especial- 
ly where valuable goods, such as oil and guano, are 
produced in individually small quantities so that the petty 
manufacturer, always in want of money and seldom able 
to enter the open market direct with his small parcels of 
goods, falls a ready prey to the middlemen and broker, 
who is apt to take the bulk of the profits. A combina- 
tion of a dozen or score of manufacturers would, of 
course, enable the men not only to borrow on easy terms 
but to bulk their produce and thus obtain the true market 
price. The Assistant Director has also undertaken the 



94 

work of setting up our school for fisher-folk in a build- 
ing erected for the purpose in the Tanur yard, close 
to the public road, and which also houses the hand-loom 
for net-making obtained during the year from England. 
The pupils are both boys and adults and are not merely 
taught the usual three " R's," but receive instruction and 
suggestions in technical and economic matters such as 
those of curing, of co-operation and thrift, etc., and it is 
found that the villagers readily come to listen ; the boys 
are also available for labour in the yard when additional 
hands are needed. The English hand-looru for net- 
making was considerably damaged en route, but the 
damages have been repaired, and it is hoped to work it 
to some purpose during the current year ; this matter has 
been placed entirely under the control of the Assistant 
Director who initiated the idea from his knowledge of 
the needs of the people in net-making and from seeing 
these looms when in England in 1912. 

40. Considerable correspondence was held with the 
Collectors of Malabar and South Canara regarding the 
oil and guano factories which have so rapidly sprung up 
since there was among manufacturers a natural tendency 
to disregard or an ignorance of sanitary rules ; the Assist- 
ant Director visited about 45 factories and f also visited 
a number, with the result that a set of tentative rules, 
liable to alteration on greater experience, were drawn up 
and received the assent of one or both Collectors. 

A " China " net as at Cochin and live car have just 
been put up by the Assistant Director at Beypore, but we 
have yet to gain experience as to their working. 

41. The disposal of the produce of the TanOr yard 
and Calicut cannery gave a great deal of work in the 
calculation of costs, in the consideration of the best 
methods of marketing, and in ascertaining public tastes. 
Four jails wrote for supplies of dried fish, but Vellore 
and Salem shortly dropped out ; Trichinopoly and Coim- 
batore, however, continue to take supplies. A stall was 
opened at Moore Market for the sale of canned and 
cured goods, and has made known these products to a 
section of the public ; it was found that curried sardines 
were preferred by retail purchasers at the Moore Market 
while wholesale buyers, usually Europeans, who deal 
direct with the cannery, prefer plain (oil-less) sardines, 
mackerel and prawns. A notable order for canned goods 
was a large one recently made by the contractor of the 



95 

Wellington canteen. We have the advantage in this 
country and with the market that will take our goods, of 
not being bound by trade customs or a fixed and hide- 
bound public taste ; if the products are good and also 
cheap they will be readily bought, even if they are not 
in the precise form or with the appearance or flavour — 
perhaps the result of adulteration — required by, say, 
English customers ; our " sardines " might find a poor 
market amongst Europeans who have been accustomed 
to French sardines or even to Norwegian " sprats" put 
up in particular ways and in the familiar containers, just 
as it was found that American '' sardines," though well 
packed and of excellent quality, could find no sale in 
Europe solely because of the dift'erence in form and 
method. Our markets, however, have no " custom " in 
this matter, and only demand soundness and cheapness. 
But it will, I think, be found, certainly within the current 
year, that our goods are attractive in every way, and 
they are absolutely without adulteration, being "pure 
food " in every detail, 

42. Towards the close of the year arrangements 
were made with the Travancore and Baroda States 
whereby two young men from each State will study 
pisciculture and curing work in our stations during the 
current year ; one has already arrived from Baroda 
to learn ostreiculture, etc., under Mr. Hornell. 

43. After the fashion described in one of Esop's 
fables, two contradictory criticisms are frequently ad- 
dressed to me ; the one supposes that Government is 
intending itself to develop a fishing industry by means 
of its own trawlers, curing yards, etc., and criticises it on 
these hypothetical grounds ; the other animadverts on 
the supposed delay in putting departmental products 
commercially on the market ; " Does Government intend 
to run factories to the injury of an existing trade ? " asks 
one ; " Why does not the department market a supply 
of tinned goods, smoked fish, etc., to meet the demand ? " 
cries the other. 

The answer to the first is the often repeated negation ; 
there is no intention that Government goods or enter- 
prise shall injure any industry or trade either existing or 
prospective. On the contrary. Government efforts are 
directed to improving the indigenous industry and to 
stimulate or even create where for various reasons the 
industry in various branches is non-existent ; such, for 



96 

instance, are its efforts to improve existing preservative 
methods, and its actual creation of a canning and an oil 
and guano industry. 

The Government stations are purely experimental 
and instructional ; money, thought and time are freely 
expended in experiment, and the results of these 
experiments, when successful, are promulgated by all 
possible means. Meanwhile an expert staff is growing 
up which will supply — as it has begun to supply — men 
trained in our methods, and will thus gradually get rid 
of a grave difficulty found in introducing new industries, 
viz., the absence of skilled artisans. Moreover, a 
superior staff is being gradually formed which will be 
available to supervise private operations, and the stations 
will shortly be centres where instructors, inspectors, 
experts, foremen, etc., can be thoroughly trained. The 
stations are not commercial except for several reasons 
viz., (i) the need to get rid of the products of experiment 
which are necessarily numerous and costly ; the canning 
experiments already number nearly 700, and each 
experiment may involve hundreds of tins, since it is 
impossible to test or create an industry by petty 
laboratory methods ; (2) the need to ascertain the public 
tastes and the true cost of goods by the time they are put 
into the consumer's hands. A third reason is to advertise 
successes, so that private enterprise may be induced to 
enter the field. The last two reasons coupled with the 
necessity for exhibiting a rapid up-to-date plant for 
imitation, are the warrant for the new departure at 
Beypore, which will, it is hoped, be at once a stimulation 
and a model to private enterprise. It is, in fact, the 
stimulation and education of private enterprise that are 
the aim of the department. It may be added that, except 
for a small European trade in canned goods, usually 
high-priced, there is no existing trade to injure. 

The second criticism is answered by pointing out 
for the hundredth time that the department is experi- 
mental and the plant is experimental and petty but 
that, as mentioned above, the department is about to 
make a new advance in view to assist private enterprise ; 
in working out this new advance the new plant for the 
packing, etc., of sanitary, solderless tins will put 
considerable quantities of goods on the market. 
Meanwhile the cannery has sold during the current year 
a fair number of tins priced at several thousand rupees. 



97 



Letter — from Sir F. A, Nicholson, k.c.i.e., Honorary 

Director of Fisheries. 
Dated — Madras, the i8th June IQ15. 

I have the honour to submit my annual report for 

1914-15- 

2. The sanctioned and existing staff with their pay 
and qualifications are as follows: — 



Name. 



Designation, 




Academical 
qualifications. 



Director and Staff. 



1. Sir F. A. Nicholson, 

K.C.I.E. 

2. Mr. V. Govindan, 

F.z.s. 

3. Mr. A. K. Menon, 

F.C.S. 

4 M. Jayaram Nayudu. 



5. M Gulani Kadir 



6 

7- 



Vacant 
Do 



Honorary Direct- 
or. 

Assistant tlo. 

Oil Chemist ... 
Sub-Assistant ... 

Do 



Do. 
Do. 



R.S. 

400 

250 

50 (50-4—90) 

50 (50-4—90) 



50(50-4-90) 
50 (50-4-90) 



B.A. 
B.A. 

B.A. (Had training 
in Medical College 
for three years.) 

F.A. (Had training 
in Medical College 
for two years.) 

Not yet appointed. 
Do. 



I. Mr. H. C.Wilson 



Vaccint 

C. G. Chakrapani 

Ayyangar. 
Vacant 



Do. 
S. A. D'Silva 



Piscicitltural Expert and Staff. 

Piscicultural 950(800—50 

Expert. 

Assistant 
Sub-Assistant . 



1,250) 
150-10—250 
So (50 -5-100) 



Assistant Inspec- 
tor. 

Do. 
Do 



30-4—50 

30—4- 50 
25 (25 — 1—40) 



Not yet appointed, 
B.A. 

Not yet appointed. 

Do. 



Marine Biologist and Assistant and Staff 



iVIr. James Hornell, 

F.L.S. 

S. T. Moses 

K. Narayana Ayyar. 

Vacant 



Marine Biologist 
and Assistant. 

Zoological Assist- 
ant. 

Fish -farm Sul)- 
Assistant. 

Shell-fish Sub- 
Assistant. 



950(950-50— 
f,25o) 
100 (100— 5— (50) 

50 (50—4—90) 



50-4-90 



M.A. (Zoology) 

B.A (Zoology). 
Has special train- 
ing in Microtomy. 

Not yet appointed. 





Pearl and Chank Fisheries Staff. 






I. Mr. James Hornell, 


Superintendent, 


... 


(Vide entries above 


■) 


F.L.S. 


P. and C. 








2. J. A. Fernandez ... 


Sub- Assistant ... 


50 (50—5—100) 


Matriculation. 




3, S. Ramaswami Ay- 


Senior Operator. 


50 (50-5-75) 


Do. 




yangar. 











98 

3- The work was in general divided up as follows : 
Mr. H, C. Wilson as Piscicultural Expert was in charge 
of all piscicultural investigations, projects, and operations 
in inland waters, and also of the work of breeding and 
distributing larvicides ; Mr. James Hornell, f.l.s., was in 
charge of all pearl and chank fisheries, of marine fish- 
farms including an oyster farm at Pulicat, and of various 
sea fishery investigations both practical and scientific ; 
Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., as Assistant Director, assisted 
the Honorary Director in all west coast station matters, 
in office work, and in tours of enquiry and of inspection 
of private oil and guano factories while especially work- 
ing on the social and economic problems of the fishing 
classes. The general work of the directorate and the 
detailed work of the west coast experimental stations 
formed my own share ; I also visited England on fishery 
enquiries. 

4. The principal operations in hand were as 
follows : — 

(i) The work in curing, canning, oil and guano 
manufacture, etc., at the west coast experimental station ; 

(2) the Sunkesula fresh -water fish-farm ; 

(3) the hilsa hatchery ; 

(4) the stocking of tanks ; 

(5) the Colair lake project ; 

(6) the commencement of Ippur fish-farm in the 
Nellore district ; 

(7) the breeding and distribution of larvicidal fish ; 

(8) the acclimatization of tench on the plains ; 

(9) the conservation and development of trout in 
the upper Nilgiris ; 

(10) the conservation of the waters of the Bhavani 
and Moyar on the lower slopes of the Nilgiris ; 

(11) the building of and early operations on the 
Tuticorin marine fish-farm ; 

(12) edible oyster cultivation at Pulicat ; 

(13) pearl and chank fishery work at Tuticorin and 
the Ramnad coast ; 

(14) the pearl fishery at Tondi ; 

(15) the preparation of plans, etc., for the pearl oyster 
farm at Krusadai near Pamban ; 

(16) soap-making from fish and other oils by the Oil 
Chemist at the west coast station ; 



99 

(i;) Miscellaneous, including — 

(a) enquiries in England in 19 14 for a master fisher- 

man and mate, for hardened oils, for chank 
cutting- plant, refrigerating plant, additional 
canning plant, etc.; 

(b) work on the Colair lake fish-farming project ; 

(c) the consideration and publication of certain re- 

strictive measures in fresh- water areas, streams 
and channels ; 

(</) investigations in various areas (Coorg, S. Kanara, 
the Palnis, etc.) of fresh water conditions and 
possibilities ; 

(e) the supply of trout ova from the Nilgiris to other 
waters ; 
(/) preparation of a list of tanks containing perma- 
nent waters ; 

Qj) tours by all officers of scientific and practical 
investigation ; 

{/i) scientific researches and the supply of speci- 
mens for educational purposes ; 

(/') the training of students from Baroda and 
Travancore in fishery operations in view to 
their appointment as fishery experts in. their 
own States ; 

(y) the reorganization of the non-gazetted staft 
in view to an increase in numbers and 
status ; 

(>^) bottle drift experiments in connection with 
pearl oyster operations ; 

(/) preparation of various statistics ; 

(w) work in connection with the social and econo- 
mic condition of the fishing classes ; 

(/O consideration of the plans for a fishery 
steamer ; 

(o) consideration of the plans for the new Marine 
Aquarium^and Biological Station ; 

(^) feeding cattle with dried fish ; 

((/) correspondence with British canning firms ; 

(r) refrigeration ; 

(s) issue of bulletins. 
These matters are dealt with below. 

7 -A 



TOO 

West Coast Experimental Station. 

5. The west coast experimental station was run by 
myself and the Assistant Director on the same lines as 
in the previous year, but a Sub-Assistant was appointed 
late in the year to take charge of the Tanur curing yard, 
and another to the cannery ; these young men are under 
training. A student from Baroda and another from 
Travancore were also admitted to training for official 
work in their own States and did very well ; a young 
man from a South Kanara curing factory was also 
admitted as an unpaid student. 

The year was extremely unfavourable, worse than any 
recent year ; there were no shoals of catfish from which 
such large supplies of food and money are usually 
obtained, few large fish, extremely few mackerel, and an 
extraordinary shortage of sardines, which, moreover, 
contained very little fat and that only for a minimum 
period ; the oil and guano operations were practically 
confined to November and those only on very few occa- 
sions, so that the station was able to supply only 250 
gallons of fine oil to the Government Cawnpore Leather 
Factory instead of 1 ,000, and a lo-ton guano contract 
was, with difficulty, carried out. These unfavourable 
conditions were general all along the coast, and oil and 
guano factories were either wholly or largely idle and 
forward contractors experienced heavy losses ; the sea 
beaches were practically devoid of the usual masses of 
sardines drying as fish manure. 

Some items of the work of the Tanur yard are 
shown in Appendix II, but it is to be noted (1) that the 
year was very unfavourable, (2) that the yard is experi- 
mental and not commercial so that a good deal of money 
is necessarily expended without a return in profits, (3) 
that the staff, being Government employees, is neces- 
sarily kept on throughout the year and for every day in 
the year, whether there is work or not. 

It was found impossible to induce Ratnagiri fisher- 
men to bring their boats to Beypore, so that we were 
deprived of the cold weather catches of large fish which 
we obtained at Cannanore through these men. No real 
deep-sea work was possible. 

6. Cu7'ing. — No new departures were made except 
in the construction of a new drier and in improving 



toi 

the cure of prawns by the process described in last 
year's report ; these are now well established as an 
excellent product for which there is a large demand. 
In round figures 5 lb. of prawns straight from the sea 
make i lb. of shelled, semi-dried prawns which will keep 
for many months and when slightly soaked are an excel- 
lent substitute for fresh prawns. 

Experimental work in pilchard izing fat sardines, as 
mentioned in last year's report, was necessarily impos- 
sible, owing to lack of fish. For similar reasons the 
pickling of mackerel and other fish either in salt only, 
or in salt, vinegar, etc., could not be dealt with ; the 
experiments stand over till next season. 

Only one Jail (Coimbatore) continued to take dried 
fish from the yard, but new terms have now been 
arranged and other jails will probably take our fish. 

7. Oil and guano. — As stated above, the year was 
extremely unfortunate and very little was done. A new 
shed with two large boiling pans on a new model (one 
worked by steam) were built and arrangements improved 
for obtaining fine oil and preventing rancidity ; these 
will be tested more completely next season under the 
advice and supervision of the oil chemist. Samples of 
fine oil were sent to England for examination by hard- 
ening experts, and to others for medicinal use, while the 
lower grades and stearine were made into soap ; see 
paragraph 43 below. 

There were 211 private oil and guano factories at 
work or in existence on the west coast during the year 
under report. 

8. Canning. — The manufacture was" considerably 
developed in quantity but the recipes used were practi- 
cally those adopted last' year as standards and, to judge 
by the demand, are highly appreciated. Above 30,000 
cans of all sorts were packed during the year, mainly of 
sardines (plain, curried, and in oil) 13,020, of mackerel 
(plain and marinated) 8,676, whole prawns 2,905, 
prawn paste 4,806, and smoked mackerel paste 930. Of 
these, together with the balance in hand on ist April 
1914, 29,108 cans were sold to the public Tor Rs. 7,298, 
being an average of Rs. 3 per dozen. To judge by 
repeat orders and other evidence, this experimental 
work has been highly successful, while from the numerous 



I02 



complaints — almost the only ones — that orders were not 
complied with (from temporary lack of stock), there is 
obviously a large unsatisfied market for pure and cheap 
goods manufactured on a commercial and not on an 
experimental scale. 

During the year the new cannery at Beypore was 
put up ; this provides good accommodation for canning, 
refrigeration and other preserving processes and for 
storage. The new canning plant produces solid-drawn 
cans, the bodies of which are struck by a drawing press 
from the i\at ; the covers are secured to the body by 
" double seaming," the flanges of the body and cover 
being jointly turned over with the interpositioti of a 
composition band between them ; this makes an air-tight 
joint. It will be noticed that this method produces a 
can which is not only free from solder, but has only 
one seam instead of ttiree as in the ordinary soldered 
can hence much less chance of spoilage. Moreover, 
the cans can be struck as fast as the press will work, 
and 50 perfect bodies have been struck in five minutes ; 
this immensely increases the potential output, and the 
cannery will no longer be limited by the capacity of its 
sclderers who seldom solder more than 150 cans each 
per day. The new cannery was not actually at work 
during the year. 

It has been proved during the year that sardines in 
oil are all the better for long storage ; cans of 1913 gave 
excellent gustatory results. Moreover, the oil used 
matters the less as the age increases, since the blended 
flavour of fish, oil and spice covers up any characteristic 
flavour of the oil ; refined cotton seed-oil gave as good 
results as olive oil, while sardines in fine sardine-oil were 
generally preferred to any as being richer in flavour. 

Experiments were recently tried with the greatest 
success in preventing the slight discoloration of prawns 
when canned ; the new method, not yet in practical use, 
involves some technical difficulties as regards the con- 
tainer and slight extra cost but this can be got over ; the 
fish under experiment completely preserved their natural 
brilliance of colour. 

9. Refr-igeratioii. — Owing to delays in building and 
the want of refrigerating experts, the new plant for fish- 
freezing after the Henderson method (see previous 



to3 

report) was not put in action ; it is, however, now in 
place and will shortly be worked. 

Fresh Water Pisciculture. 

lo. Mr. Wilson, Piscicultural Expert, remained in 
charge of these operations, which involve an immensity 
of touring and planning. The chief operations under- 
taken are described by Mr. Wilson in the following" 
extract from his report : — 

11. Sunkesula fish-farm. — The general work at the farm progressed 
satisfactorily and a large head of fish was secured and kept in the 
several farm ponds for stocking purposes ; but unfortunately, owing 
to the breaching of Tangadencha tank three times, the stocking of 
Kurnool-Cuddapah canal was not possible for want of sufficient water 
and hence only the first 20 miles was stocked. It may, however, be 
remarked that the breaching of the Tangadencha tank will have a 
most deleterious effect on the fishery of the canal for a few years 
to come. This tank, which never ran dry, contained a lot of good 
breeders, and the canal was replenished every year with fish from this 
source. To make good this loss will mean the re-stocking of Tanga- 
dencha from Sunkesula for many years. Many thousands of murrel, 
fry, etc., were however removed from the farm and turned out into 
the Edurur swamp for growing purposes. 

The new and valuable larvicide Polyacantkus cupanics referred to 
in my last year's annual report have since bred in the farm. A 
portion of the Hindri river close to the Kurnool Collector's bungalow 
and the Markapur tank were stocked with this useful larvicide. 

Another interesting item of work done at the farm was the intro- 
duction of tench (Tinea vulgaris). A small consignment of tench and 
English carp were brought from the Nilgiris and turned out into the 
breeding ponds. 

Live-fish ?narket. — This was opened in Kurnool and live fish were 
sold to the public at three annas per pound fetching a sum of Rs. 371 
to this department during the year. The market was supplied with 
fish from the fish farm. 

12. Hilsa hatchery During the year under report my Sub- 
Assistant went to the Lower Anicut to attend to this. He waited for 
several days and though almost all female hilsa caught were in a 
gravid state not a single ripe one could be had. As the water in the 
river went low and there were no further runs of fish, the hatchery 
work was closed for the year. 

13. Stocking of tanks. — As mentioned in paragraph 11 supra it 
was impossible to stock the whole of the Kurnool-Cuddapah canal 
owing to the breaching of the Tangadencha tank. 

Daroji tank in the Bellary district and the Markapur tank in 
the Kurnool district were stocked with fish from the farm in September 
and October last respectively ; the latter tank, however, was again 
stocked in December with carp and mosquito larvicides. 



104 

Besides the above two tanks another tank which holds permanent 
water, viz., Peddamentrala in Markapur taluk of the Kurnool district 
was also stocked. 

Barur and Penukondapuram tanks were not stocked during the 
year under report, but 1 hope will be stocked during the current 
year. 

14. The Colair Lake project. — As mentioned in my last year's 
report the submission of detailed estimates called for in G.O. No. 61, 
Revenue, dated the 6th January 191 3, is still being delayed owing to 
the existence of stake nets and fixed engines. When my new Assistant 
is appointed he will be put on this work ; after a thorough investiga- 
tion, proposals for the removal of these nets under G.O. No, 1905, 
Revenue, dated 2nd July 1914, will be drawn up and submitted to 
Government for necessary action. 

15. T]ie Ippur Fish-farm in Nellore. — The site selected is in the 
bed or Ippur tank about 11 miles from Venkatachalam station on the 
Madras and Southern Mahratta line. The water is supplied by an 
open channel from Survapalli tank and the Public Works Depart- 
ment records show that the water-supply in this tank, if carefully 
guarded, should not fail to supply the fishery excepting in years of 
great drought. 

The construction of a well has been provided for and a small 
pumping plant to insure against the above danger and for other 
necessary work. 

The fishing rights of this and Puduparti tank adjoining have been 
handed over to this department and the small rentals amounting to 
only a few rupees will be paid as compensation to the Nellore District 
Board. The plans of the fishery and buildings have been perused by 
the Public Works Department and the works sanctioned by Govern- 
ment in G.O, No. 2997, dated 14th October 1914. 

The work is now in the hands of the Executive Engineer of Nellore 
and will be completed this year, 

16. Breeding and distrilnLtion of larvicidal fish. — A 
good deal of Mr. Wilson's time and energy were spent 
on this matter ; not only were further experiments con- 
ducted at Sunkesula, but the new Ippur farm is specially 
devised to provide a supply of larvicidal fish for distri- 
bution to municipalities, etc. 

Mr. Wilson reports as follows ; — 

" In July I inspected several wells in Tondiyarpet, Madras, with 
Captain Hodgson, I. M.S., in connection with the Anti-malarial opera- 
tions. Many of the wells visited that had been stocked with larvicides, 
were examined and absolutely devoid of mosquito larvee. 

The danger of the present method of stocking with fish larvicides 
was pointed out to Captain Hodgson, viz., the liability of intro- 
ducing eggs of predaceous fish with the larvicides. 

The present system of gathering the small fish from surrounding 
ponds is an exceedingly bad method and it is almost a certainty that 
eggs of predaceous fish, especially the floating eggs of the 
Ophioce/>halid(e family, will be accidentally carried. 



io5 

In some of the wells visited which had been already stocked, we 
found the small fish larvicides had all disappeared and it was evident 
that some predaceous fish had been introduced. 

On completion of the larvicide farm at Nellore the small fish 
can be sent for stocking purposes free of all this danger." 

17. Acclimatization of tench. — With reference to G.O. No. 1601, 
Revenue, dated 3rd June 1914, sanctioning the above scheme, a 
consignment of tench was brought from the Nilgiris in February last 
and turned out into leejur tank and another small tank close tc 
Mattigiri near Hosur ; as mentioned under Sunkesula fish farm a 
small consignment of tench was put in one of the ponds of the fish 
farm at Sunkesula. The result of the experiment will be reported to 
Government in due course. 

18. Trout en the Nilgiris. — In May the streams of the Nilgiris 
were inspected to decide the opening date of trout fishing and the 
same month the following rivers were restocked with large trout from 
the reserve stream in Parson's valley, viz., Pykara (upper reaches), 
Krurmund, Mekod below falls, Kundah river below Mclver's bund, 
and Billithada Halla. 

In September a valuable consignment of live fish food was brought 
from the Moyar river near Torapalli to the fish ponds and river at 
Pykara. 

The same month the following new streams were stocked with 
trout, viz., Tiah shola stream (Kondas) waterfall streams, Piermade 
stream, and Bangi tappal stream. 

The supply of eggs at the Avalanche hatchery was fairly good 
and trout were kept for transhipment to the Travancore ranges, etc. 
The rivers are fully stocked with trout and some very large fish have 
been seen, 

A consignment of tench was sent to Wellington to restock the 
lake. 

1 9 . Conservation oj Bh avdn i and Moyar rivers. — T he 
usual conservancy precautions were taken. As regards 
the Cauvery into which these rivers flow Mr. Wilson 
writes as follows : — 

" During the year under report the Cauvery and the Coleroon 
fisheries have been taken over by Government paying the district 
boards concerned a fixed annual compensation. To improve this 
fishery it is absolutely necessary to prevent the wholesale indis- 
criminate slaughter of fish which takes place during the annual fish 
drive in the Cauvery near Hoginkal (Salem district) as well as 
dynamiting, etc. With the help of the Collector of the district as 
well as the District Forest Officer the annual fish drive has been 
put an end to during the last four or five years, besides dynamiting 
as well as other illegal methods of capturing fish. Through the co- 
operation of the District Forest Ofiicer, Salem, all fishing licenses will 
be issued for a nominal fee for capturing fish in the river within the 
forest boundary, and the size of mesh of the nets used will also be 
regulated." 

20. Miscellaiieous — Palni hill streams. — With reference to G.O. 
Mis. No. 359, Revenue, dated 3rd February 1914, the Palni hill 



ro6 

streams and the 'new reservoirs at Kodaikanal and Berijam, etc., 
were examined and reported on as to their suitability for the 
introduction of trout. Government have approved of the scheme 
and a consignment of trout will be sent in May. 

Exammafion of South Kanara wafers. — In G.O. Mis. No. 1543, 
Revenue, dated the 28th May 1914, I was requested by Government 
to examine the above waters and to suggest the methods to improve 
their fisheries. 

Large sections of the waters of this most interesting district (from 
a piscicultural point of view) have been inspected when at their lowest 
levels and a full report will be submitted shortly. 

The following rivers were visited during the inspection : Char- 
vattur, Payasuvati or Chandragiri, Adkastala, Netravati and its 
tributaries. 

Most of these splendid rivers were found to be so severely poached 
by means of fixed engines, etc., that it will take many years of strict 
conservancy and stocking to bring them back to anything like 
their full fish-bearing capacity. It will be necessary to construct 
a fishery for the restocking of these niost valuable waters, and 
possible sites were visited on the upper reaches of the more 
important streams. The most promising site for this work was found 
on the Ancel river near Neriya which is a tributary of the Netravati. 

Full particulars of this proposed fishery will be submitted in a 
separate report after reinspection of the selected site during the 
monsoon season. 

Coorg. — Having inspected all the more important rivers of Coorg 
a report is being submitted to the Chief Commissioner with sugges- 
tions for conservation and the possibilities of introduction of new 
species. 

During the year under report correspondence with the Public 
\\'orks Department has enabled us to compile a list of all the tanks 
in this Presidency which contain more or less permanent water. 
These will be inspected as time permits and methods adopted to 
improve their fisheries and take them over to our department. 

Many municipalities were advised as to the best fish larvicides to 
stock their waters with, but the recjuest of some to be supplied with 
a stock of larvicides could not be complied with, until the Ippur fish 
farm is working. 

There were also numerous miscellaneous items such as 
correspondence with China and Java relating to the introduction of 
gourami, which should have practical results during the current year, 
correspondence initiated by the Government of Hongkong on angling 
matters, the publication of a note on the treatment of swamps, ponds, 
etc., from an anti-malarial point of view, etc. 

Marine Pisciculture and Other Work. 

21. Tnticorin F ish-faniL — At present we have— for 
various reasons — no marine hatcheries ; the present 
need for them is not proved, and no staff is as yet avail- 
able. But we are attempting to develop the usefulness 



io7 

of our Immense backwaters all of which open to the sea, 
and the Tuticorin fish-farm Is the earliest systematized 
attempt to produce free swimming- fish under controlled 
conditions. Mr. Hornell, as Marine Assistant, devised 
this farm in a lagoon at Tuticorin and built it during- the 
year under report ; he writes as follows : — 

"The Tuticorin fish-farm was completed in January 1915 and 
stocked with mullet, whiting ( Sillago sihama) and other quick growing 
backwater fishes. Hardly had this been done when unseasonable 
and exceptionally heavy rainfall occurred throughout the Tinnevelly 
district entailing in the river valleys very serious losses wherein the 
fish-farm unfortunately participated to the full. A considerable 
portion of the palisading was damaged and could not be repaired till 
the floods subsided. The fish fry were scattered and stocking had to 
be undertaken a second time in March; we cannot therefore expect 
growth to be so s?.ti?factory or the stock to be so large as it otherwise 
would have been had normal conditions prevailed in January. The 
work done has, nevertheless, already added largely to our knowledge 
of the fauna of the lagoon and of the life histories of several of its 
more important constituents. A very satisfactory feature is the great 
abundance of two of our most valuable Indian prawns ; not only do 
these species grow to a large size and form excellent eating, they also 
constitute a valuable bait for the line fishermen. These men for 
years past have been handicapped by a shortage of this bait, so when 
I found that prawns were thriving greatly in the fish-farm, it appeared 
obviously sounder economically to exploit this resource specifically 
for the benefit of these men than to dispose of the catches to the 
general public as food. Accordingly special store baskets were 
devised in v/hich the catches made during each day are stored till 
the early morning of the succeeding day when the line fishermen 
come for their supply. On most days their demand is greater than 
the supply ; this I hope to put right next season when more normal 
weather conditions may be expected to prevail than was the case this 
year. 

" The line fishermen greatly appreciate this boon of bait supply 
and storage. Hitherto it has been a common occurrence for them to 
be delayed unduly in the mornings as the lack of storage facilities 
meant that they had to await the actual daily capture of prawns 
before they could go to sea ; I have seen men eitting on the shore 
till 9 A.M. waiting for the prawners to catch a sufiiciency of bait. 
Now they can usually get to sea by 6 a.m. as all they have to do is 
to go to the prawn store and buy what quantity they desire." 

22. Edible oyster culture. — Growth of the stock on the beds at 
Pulicat proceeded most satisfactorily throughout 19 14, and at the 
beginning of January 1 915, the oysters had recovered from the set 
back they annually receive during the ordinary rainy season of October 
and November. Unfortunately the exceptional and heavy rains which 
occurred towards the end of January and which, as already mentioned, 
occasioned ill-effects in the Tuticorin fish-farm, were equally well 
marked at Pulicat and this second flood of fresh water threw the 
oysters back two months in condition so much so that sales had to be 



suspended temporarily during February and March. Low salinity 
continued for an unduly long period after the floods subsided and 
indicates that a backwater with a relatively small area is preferable 
for oyster culture to one of much greater extent whenever the sea- 
mouth of the latter is restricted in size. 

Prospects for the coming year are again good, but pending the 
erection of the proposed Biological Station and A(|uarium at Madras 
and the provision therein of conditioning tanks for oysters, no great 
extension of sales can be hoped for, as recent railway time-table 
rearrangements have been retrograde in regard to the Ennore service, 
entailing serious distribution difficulties. 

23. Othe7^ work. — -This heading comprises a great 
deal of work of which the main items are reported on by 
Mr. Hornell as follows: — 

" Ttcfuiical instruction in fishery science. — Two students sent by the 
Baroda and Travancore Governments were given courses of practical 
instruction. They are now employed by their respective Govern- 
ments as fishery experts and I continue to give them advice unofficially 
from time to time. 

" The supply of biological specimens to educational and scientific 
institutions was commenced ; specimens were sent to the Cochin 
Museum, the Oceanographic Museum at Monaco, the Christian 
College, Madras, and others. Considerable extension of this section 
is expected in 1915-16. The sum of Rs. 56-13-0 was received for 
the specimens supplied and was duly paid into the treasury. 

" Current and drift investigations were continued ; 2,850 bottles 
were liberated ; sufficient results have now been obtained to permit of 
deductions being made. A report is in preparation. 

" Statistics of the Tuticorin fishing industry have been tabulated 
in great detail for the past 3I years. These comparative statistics 
exhibit clearly the large monetary value of tlie industry and the fluc- 
tuations due to seasonal changes ; they also throw a flood of new 
light on the seasonal abundance of the principal food fishes on the 
east coast and their relative importance. 

" Sardine investigatioti was continued with a view to determine 
the factors governing sardine abundance in inshore waters and other 
vitally important facts in their habits and life history. Work to this 
end was carried on at Tuticorin, Cannanore and Beypore. 

" The economic position of tJie fishing population in Tinnevelly 
and Ramniid districts received attention and proposals have been 
made to assist them by means of loans to buy boats and gear. Fur- 
ther information has recently been obtained pointing to the urgent 
need for assistance if development is to proceed satisfactorily. 

" Mechanical chank fishing. — As experiments in dredging and 
trawling chanks have not proved satisfactory, attention was given 
during the year to the possibility of designing a simple form of sub- 
marine boat to be used in fishing chanks and pearl oysters. Success 
depends upon the evolution of a sufficiently simple and inexpensive 
design. 

" Beche-de-mer fishery, — Several of the species of Holothuria 
(Sea-cucumbers) best esteemed by the Chinese in the preparation of 



I09 

their great delicacy of beche-de-mer or trepang have been found, in 
the course of the prosecution of the Rilmnad Chank Fishery, to be 
abundant in Palk Ray ; it appears that they can be fished profitably 
together with chanks and I am now preparing a proposal whereby this 
department may take up the working of this industry, in order, by 
experiment, to ascertain the best methods of preparation and thereby 
to set this industry, which has potential value, upon a stable footing. 
By working this industry in conjunction with the chank industry, the 
divers will be able to make better wages and so be rendered more 
content and more active in tiie prosecution of the chank fishery. 
The divers have difticulty in finding any market whatever for beche- 
de-mer and the industry is practically dead at the present moment, 
hence this is a favourable time to begin operations ; such action 
would be welcomed with gratitude by the divers." 

Pearl and Chank Fishery Work. 

24. As usual this branch will be reported on in 
detail separately. In this matter Mr. Hornell writes 
briefly for the present report as follows : — 

" A pearl fishery was held at Tondi in August and September 
1914 after prolonged inspection of the pearl banks off Tondi and 
Karangadu, discovered in the preceding April. This fishery is epoch- 
making in that it is the first ever held in Palk Bay. Full details are 
given in G.O. No. 633, dated loth March 1915. The net profit made 
amounts to Rs. 3,496-11-9 inclusive of the amount to be paid this 
year by the lessee of the right to fish the oysters left unfished. 

" The life history of the pearl oyster received much attention. 
Large larvae already assuming the adult form were taken in the tow- 
net in April and it has been thus shown that the dispersal period 
may be much more prolonged than we know. The Palk Bay beds 
appear to constitute the natural breeding stock whence the Ceylon 
and Tuticorin beds are periodically replenished, Palk Bay may be 
considered the motherland of the Gulf of Mannar pearl oysters. A 
new potential pearl-inducing parasite was found and has been described 
in a paper upon the Tondi Pearl Fishery read before the 2nd Indian 
Science Congress held at Madras in January 1915. 

" No inspection of pearl-, banks in the Gulf of Mannar was 
possible last season owing to the Inspection Schooner " Lady 
Nicholson " having been requisitioned by the Port authorities at 
Madras. So far as can be ascertained, no spat-fall has occurred on 
the Tinnevelly banks during the past year. 

'''' Fearl-inducemenl. — In anticipation of the early construction 
of the Pearl Laboratory at Pamban, a senior operator has been 
appointed and is now undergoing preliminary training in technical 
methods. The opportunity of a pearl fishery in Palk Bay in 1914, 
enabled a number of new experiments in pearl-inducement to be com- 
menced; the requisitioning of the inspection schooner for war service 
at Madras brought these to an untimely end and for the present they 
are necessarily in abeyance." 



I lO 

Chank fisheiHes. — This department now controls the 
chank fisheries along the whole coast between Cape 
Comorin and Chingleput, which for convenience' sake 
are named the Tuticorin, Ramnad, and Coromandel 
fisheries. Mr. Hornell writes as follows : — 

" The Tuticorin Chank Fishery for the year ending 30th June 

1914 is given in detail in G.O. No. 202, dated 21st January 1915. 
The total number of shells paid for was 232,504 and the net proceeds 
amounted to Rs. 18,784-3-9. The 1914-15 season just ended will 
be less productive owing to the interruption caused by a divers' 
strike which lasted from 20th November 1914 to 22nd March 1915, 
whereby the best part of the season was lost. The number of full- 
sized shells fished now in stock and ready for delivery is 129,437. 

"The Coromandel Chank Fisheries brought in Rs. 1,513-5-4 
for 1914-15. The South Arcot lease expiring on 31st March 1915, 
tenders for a further term were called for and an enhanced rate 
was obtained, viz., Rs. 900 per annum for three years from ist April 

1 915 as against Rs. 51 6-1 0-8 per annum for the term ended. 'Fhe 
revenue from this coast steadily improves. The lessee again com- 
plains of loss sustained due to the smuggling of shells into French 
territory, 

" The Ramnad Chank Fishery proved difficult to organize 
during the first year owing partly to lack of sufficient acquaintance 
with local conditions and largely to the difficulties put in our way by 
the chank merchants of Kilakarai who are jealous of the new depar- 
ture. Since July 1914 these difficulties have been largely niode- 
r ated as an intimate knowledge of local conditions has been obtained, 
a nd the opposition to some extent broken down though this may be 
temporary only. As a result a very satisfactory fishery was held at 
Kameswaram and thanks largely to the loyal example set by two 
boats' crews of divers recruited at Kilakarai and the fair treatment and 
good pay given, a considerable number of other divers attended. The 
total catch for the current season already amounts to 117,172 at 
Rameswaram as against 8,218 last year ; 31,564 at Tirupalakudi, 
Vedalai, etc., against 4,978 last year; 17,584 at Kilakarai against 
427 last year. 

" Excellent relations have been formed and maintained with 
the Kilakarai men, and were these divers free from the trammels of 
the pernicious advance system wherein the merchants and boatowners 
have enmeshed them we should have the whole diving population of 
Kilakarai at our call. As it is, many of the men who have worked for 
us at Rameswaram fear persecution for so doing and ask for protection 
against this if it occur." 

25. The Krusadai pearl oyster farm. — The general 
proposals for the establishment of a pearl oyster farm and 
a subsidiary marine biological station in the island of 
Krijsadai close to Pamban and for acquiring the island 
for the purpose were sanctioned in January 1915. The 
detailed plans and estimates are under preparation in the 



TI I 

Public Works Department and these will be submitted 
to Government shortly. 

26. Cliank bangle cutting. — This formed the subject 
of enquiry in previous years and in 191 2 when in England 
I obtained the aid of a Birminoham firm in cutting" these 
hard porcellaneous shells. The experiments, as well as 
other enquiries by Mr. Hornell, proved useless, but in 
1914 I consulted Dr. Wyndham Dunstan, Director of 
the Imperial Institute, London, who at once interested 
himself in the matter. The result is mentioned by Mr. 
Hornell in the following remarks, and it is now quite 
possible that success in rapid machine cutting may be 
obtained, and a local industry developed. 

Enquiries with a view to obtain a satisfactory cheap 
and effective machine saw to slice chank shells into 
working section for the shell-bangle worker, were con- 
tinued during the year and now promise to be successful 
at last. Both the Director of the Imperial Institute and 
Mr. Pierce, the Superintendent of the Public Works 
Workshops have been good enough to give their assist- 
ance, and the former recently supplied samples of chank 
sections cut by a machine saw which operates under 
water. The price of the saw and fittings is quoted at 
;^i8 and if the answer to some further queries which have 
been transmitted to the Director be satisfactory, it will 
then be desirable to obtain a sample machine and carry 
out working experiments in Madras or Tuticorin to 
ascertain what modifications be necessary to fit it for 
employment by small manufacturers who have not 
command of steam or electric power. 

Miscellaneous. 

27. Of the items mentioned under this head in para- 
graph 4 supra those marked (/;), (^), (f), (/ ), [g^, {k), (k) 
have already been touched on in paragraphs 14, 18, 20, 
and 20 ; the others will now be briefly mentioned. 

2 8. {a) Master fisherman and mate. — This matter was 
alluded to in paragraph 20 of last year's report. The 
necessity for a master-fisherman to take vessels into the 
deep sea, to use and teach the use of new nets and 
methods, to keep the seagoing staff up to their work, to 
conduct experimental fishing intelligently, thoroughly 
and conscientiously, and to report results accurately, has 



I 12 



been abundantly proved by the experience of past years. 
Accordingly sanction was given by Government in G.O. 
No. 822, dated 21st March 19 12, for the appointment of 
such a man ; various difficulties, however, prevented his 
appointment. But in June 1914 I visited Aberdeen and 
several other fishery centres in view to the recruitment 
of a master-fisherman together with a mate additionally 
sanctioned by Government Memorandum No. 181 i-A 
13-15, Revenue, dated 2nd June 1914. By the courtesy 
of Messrs. Richard Irvin & Sons (Aberdeen) two excellent 
men were selected on the terms sanctioned, but the out- 
break of war cut short the negotiations as both men were 
trained mine-sweepers and were taken by the Admiralty ; 
it seemed useless to negotiate for others under war 
circumstances. The matter therefore stands over, but 
as the new fishery steamer has not yet been sanctioned, 
this is of less account, since a good fishery boat will be 
necessary to give the men full scope and obtain true and 
complete results. 

29. (r) Restrictive measures. — As mentioned in para- 
graph 14, large fresh-water projects are delayed or 
impossible because of the unrestricted use, or rather 
abuse, by fishermen of stake nets and fixed engines. 
The matter will require very wide enquiry and very 
careful handling, but a beginning was made as per G.O. 
No. 1 157, Revenue, dated 15th May 1915. The matter 
is also briefiy touched on in the quotations contained 
in paragraphs 19 and 20 supra. 

yi. (/) Training of students. — During the year two 
students from Baroda and two from Travancore arrived 
for such training as could be given them, in view to their 
subsequent employment in their respective States — one 
from each State was to study pisciculture, and one to 
learn the principles and art of fish-curing, canning, etc. 
The young men selected proved to be capable and 
diligent, and all have since been appointed to fishery 
posts in their respective States, but they will probably 
return next season for further study. The pisciculturists 
will also study curing, and the curers will study pisci- 
culture so that they may be, more or less, all round men. 

This department is, of course, not yet prepared for 
regular educational work ; it cannot be till we have the 
new Biological Station and Aquarium at Madras and until 



1 1 



our own researches are more complete, but what could 
be done was done, and the additional labour was often a 
pleasure because the men were diligent and respective. 

In November 19 14, the Director of Public Instruc- 
tion enquired whether this department could receive a 
few trained teachers in order that they might get a 
oeneral knowledge of the aims and methods of the 
department in view to their subsequent work in teaching 
rural science in Elementary Schools. Although we are 
not prepared for such working it has been arranged that 
the Assistant Director shall take charge of such 
students ; they will also be shown the work of the Pisci- 
cultural Expert and Marine Assistant. 

31. {J) Reorganization of the non-gazettfd staff . — By 
G.O. No. 2348, Revenue, dated the 14th August 19 14, 
this was considerably strengthened and improved in 
numbers, pay and status. The Piscicultural Expert 
received a separate establishment, including an Assistant 
who will have to be Mr. Wilson's under-study in fresh 
water pisciculture and operations generally ; it has not 
yet been possible to find a suitable man on the pay 
sanctioned by Government. On the marine side a 
Zoological Assistant on Rs. 100 — 5 — 150, two additional 
sub-assistants, and a senior operator on Rs. 50 — 5 — 75 
were sanctioned ; the first named, who is to work in 
connection with the projected Biological Station and 
Aquarium at Madras, was appointed in advance so as 
to be trained under and to assist Mr. Hornell ; the two 
sub-assistants are to take charoe of fish-farm and shell- 
fish culture operations, respectively, while the Senior 
Operator will work on the Krijsadai pearl oyster farm 
and is being trained accordingly. For the Director's 
immediate staft four sub-assistants were sanctioned for 
the numerous operations in hand or in immediate view, 
but only two have, as yet, been appointed, one for the 
curing and oil and guano yard at Tanur, and the other 
for the cannery. The pay and qualifications of the new 
m.en will be found in the list in paragraph 3. 

When this whole staff has been properly trained the 
department will be on the way to carry out a consider- 
able amount of practical and scientific work. The 
clerical and account staff was simultaneously improved 
in pay and prospects. 
8 



114 

32. (/) Siafi sties, — Under Government Orders the 
department began to compile fishery statistics. Mr. 
Hornell has for several years done so for his own 
station (Tuticorin) as regards fish and fishing, but the 
statistics required by Government are more far-reaching. 
A beginning has been made in utilizing the statistics 
found in the standing note-books of the 119 Govern- 
ment fish-curing yards (i.e., bonded yards where duty- 
free salt is issued to the curers who are left mainly to 
their own curing methods) and these are now being 
compiled, supplemented, and commented on by the 
Assistant Director and will shortly be submitted to 
Government. As the department has absolutely no 
staff for collecting statistics, these will necessarily be 
imperfect ; but may serve as a basis and should give 
some idea of the fishing population, of their boats and 
fishing gear, and of the fish obtained at various seasons 
and localities. I am also collating the answers to 
questionnaires issued to various authorities (Revenue 
officers, Medical and Sanitary officers, and Municipal 
authorities) some years ago ; these should give some 
knowledge of fishery conditions and of fish as popularly 
used for food. 

T)T). (m) Socio-economic ivork. — This is almost entirely 
in the hands of the Assistant Director Mr. V. Govindan, 
who was not only deeply interested in such work 
(especially among the " depressed " classes) before he 
joined the department, but is otherwise well fitted for it, 
especially on the west coast. During his work under 
me on the west coast he has been not merely collecting 
data for a complete paper on the condition of the fisher- 
folk on the west coast — which is his own country — but 
has constantly discussed economic matters with groups 
of people in various localities. He writes as follows : — 

*' After four years of constant talk and persuasion I have 
succeeded in starting a co-operative society among the fishermen of 
Tanur. The society was registered about the end of March and 
arrangements are being made to commence business. Fifty of the 
leading fishermen who own boats and nets have already joined the 
society and paid the first call on their shares. This is a co-operative 
nidhi and each shareholder has to pay a sum of Rs. 50 within 25 
months by instalments of Rs. 2 per month, and thus the members 
have to create a capital by their own contributions. As the maximum 
number of shares is 200, this society will have a capital of 



115 

Rs. 10,000 in two years' time provided the fishing season is good, and 
with this large amount it will be easy enough to put a stop to the 
sowcar's greedy transactions in the place. Most of these people 
will require only short term loans, and it is not unlikely that they 
will have money on hand to lend to other societies or banks. 

" Fishermen at Quilandi, Tellicherry, and some other places are 
being persuaded to organize similar societies, and as soon as the 
successful working of the Tanur society comes to their knowledge it 
may be presumed that they will also come forward to form societies in 
their respective villages. 

" A society for the special benefit of the owners of fish-oil and 
guano factories has also been suggested and nearly a dozen owners of 
such factories in South Canara have been considering the matter, 
but owing to the last two fishing seasons being unfavourable nothing 
practical has come out of the discussions. 

" In a certain fishing village which is situated near the mouth 
of a large river there is scope for a co-operative fisheries society. 
The right of fishing in this locality is auctioned by Government and is 
usually purchased by some one who does not belong to the fishing 
community. Last year it was purchased by a man who had also the 
license for selling toddy. This man not only collected so much 
money from each fisherman who fished in these waters but also made 
it a condition that they should patronise only his toddy shop, and in 
order to make it doubly secure he made each fisherman to deposit a 
sum of Rs. 5 with him. The sum so deposited was more than what 
he had to pay as the license fee of his toddy shop. Moreover, such 
farmers of the fishing rights give a lot of trouble to the fishermen and 
drag them to the courts. It will be a great boon to the fishermen 
if the right of fishing in this locality is given to them direct on 
condition that they organise a co-operative society and work on co- 
operative basis and pay the CTOvernnlent dues in a lump sum collected 
from each fisherman. This will not only benefit them pecuniarily 
but also Jree them from all petty worries and litigation. I spoke 
to some of the men when I visited the village but they could hardly 
understand what co-operation was, but some non-fishermen who 
overheard our conversation at once understood it and shook their 
head. I am sure a few more visits and talks will open their eyes 
in this matter. I understand that there are several other villages in 
the south where the conditions are similar and there is good scope 
for co-operation."' 



-7 , 



34. On the subject of intemperance, which is the curse 
of the fisherfolk, he makes the following remarks : — 

" Besides the above mentioned tours I have inspected a number 
of oil and guano factories in Malabar and South Canara and on such 
occasions I have spoken to fisherfolk on various topics such as co- 
operation, education, improvement of their surroundings, thrift, and 
intemperance. In August last on a visit to Malpe, I spoke to several 
people about temperance and education of their children. Soon after 
I left the place there was a meeting of the elders of the Mogar caste 
on the occasion of a temple festival at Mulki and they discussed the 

8-A 



1x6 

subject of temperance of which I had spoken to them at Malpe and 
they unanimously came to the conclusion that drinking should be 
prohibited among the members of the community. Accordingly all 
this caste people living in the two taluks of Udipi and Coondapoor 
gave up drink. The result was that the toddy shop vendors in the 
fishing villages began to feel the pinch and they sent up petitions to 
the district authorities about the fishermen's resolution to abstain 
from drink. The authorities could give them no help and they then 
got round some of the leaders of the fisher community and by under- 
hand means tried to nullify the resolution. In some villages I am 
sorry to hear they have succeeded, but in most places the people 
have understood the spirit of the resolution and have not taken to 
drink again. I am certain that a few more meetings of the elders 
will ultimately win the day for temperance. A temperance society 
for the benefit of this people has been in existence in Mangalore 
during the last four years and branches of this society have been 
formed in various other villages and the membership has increased." 

It was mentioned in my report of 1910-1 1 that some 
of the older lisherfolk themselves opposed the efforts of 
younger men to adopt temperance on the ground that 
drinking was customary and should be adhered to ; the 
obstruction or rather the active efforts of the toddy shop 
vendors mentioned in the two paragraphs above can 
only be characterized by a word which is theological 
but not official. It is, however, of great interest to note 
the influence of caste panchayats in guiding special 
matters and that such influence can even withstand 
opposition. 

The whole matter will be discussed and, I hoj)e, 
practical recommendations made in the paper mentioned 
in paragraph ^2> together with any commentary that 
may be necessary. The cognate matter of improving 
the financial position of the fishermen and curers, 
whether by Government loans or co-operative societies, 
etc., which has been under enquiry and discussion for 
years, is mentioned by Mr. Hornell (paragraph 26 supra) 
and by Mr. Govindan, and will be more fully discussed 
in a note now in hand submitting to Government a 
programme of future work based on the enquiries and 
operations of the past ten years. 

35. Primaiy school for fisher boys. — This was men- 
tioned in paragraph 39 of last year's report and has been 
continued during the year ; the Assistant Director 
writes as follows : — 

'' There were 23 pupils in the rolls; in addition to elementary 
education they are being taught technical subjects such as carpentry, 



preparation of twine and cotton for making nets, net mending. 
Application has been made to the Educational de-partment to have this 
school recognized as a grant-in aid institution. Some of the pupils 
have been engaged occasionally in the curing shed to assist in curing 
operations, and also sent out in the cance carrier to buy fish in the 
sea for our yard. In order to teach them thrift — the want of which 
is the cause of everlasting indebtedness of the fishing community all 
along the coast, pupils of this school are being persuaded to make 
savings bank deposits in the local post office, and several boys above 
sixteen years of age have already opened such accounts." 

The Government curing yard within which the school 
is situated, is often suddenly in need of extra hands 
when large quantities of sardines, prawns, etc., have to 
be dealt with, and the idea is that the boys shall work 
partly in the yard and partly in the school, and thus be 
doubly trained. Pictures of fisheries and fishery subjects 
are being utilized, and this method of visual instruction 
is about to be developed by means of further pictures 
and an optical lantern ; this will also attract adults. 

T,6. {71) Fishery steamer. — The plans for this vessel 
were repeatedly discussed during the year both by a 
committee appointed by Government ad hoe and which 
included Commander Huddleston (Presidency Port 
Officer), and otherwise. The steamer is intended to be 
a full power trawler fitted both for trawling, drifting, and 
lining, with accommodation forward, possibly after the 
fashion of modern " destroyers," for a scientific and 
controlling staff and their work. She wmII also have a 
refrigerating plant and everything needed for thoroughly 
practical work in order that the question, at present 
unanswered, as to the fishery possibilities of the deep 
sea (that is, for this Presidency, everything outside 10 
or 12 fathoms), may be fully examined and answered. 
In view of the very large and direct fishery work under- 
taken by various Colonial Governments, this is but a 
modest proposal. The matter has recently been referred 
to by Government to the India Office for consideration 
of the best plans and for an estimate of cost. 

2,"]. (0) N'ew Marine aqziarinvi and Biological 
station. — The plans were under the consideration of 
the Government Architect, and it is understood that 
they are in temporary abeyance pending the question 
of the architecture of future buildings on the Madras 
Marina. I need hardly again urge the importance of this 



ii8 

institution both as Fishery head-quarters and as a place of 
biological, educational, and economic research, and as a 
delightful resort for instructive recreation to the public. 

2,S. (/) Rcsuifs of feeding- cattle with dried fish. — 
This was mentioned in paragraph 8 of last year's report. 
The results were published in the Pusa Agricultural 
Journal ; apparently the experiments were successful but 
their commercial success depends on the price of the 
dried fish which is very irregular owing to the great 
uncertainties of the sardine shoals. 

39. {q) Correspondence with British canning firms. — 
While in England in 19 14 I circularised several canning 
firms at the end of July on the subject of establishing 
canning branches in this Presidency. Three replied, ol 
whom one — a great firm — was not prepared to adopt 
the proposal but most courteously and voluntarily offered 
me any information or assistance I might require. Two 
firms favourably considered the matter, of whom one, 
which has been consistently courteous in admitting me 
to its cannery and giving me information, has sent a 
long and practical set of questions which have recently 
been answered ; its representative will probably visit 
Madras next cold weather. My return to India on the 
declaration of war prevented visits to the several firms 
subsequent to my circular. 

The establishment of local factories by great British 
firms would not only give an immense impetus to the 
business and to subsidiary industries, but would set up a 
definite standard of ofoods which would be of enormous 
advantage to the public and to the industry. 

40. (r) Refrigeration. — Enquiries were also made 
while in London reoardino- the French AudiftrenSang- 
run refrigerator ; there are machines of this make in 
Government House, Madras, and the Pasteur Institute, 
Coonoor, etc., and it seems probable that machines 
of this type will be very suitable to Madras coastal 
requirements. Their great advantage is that they are 
absolutely self-contained and hermetically sealed (by 
welding), with the result that, on receipt of the machines, 
there is absolutely nothing to be done but to connect 
motive power to the driving pulley of the machine, and 
refrigeration begins. There are no intricate valves or 
parts, no charging with ammonia ; the machine seems 



119 

absolutely fool-proof, and such that any person possessing 
an oil-engine or spare power can set one up at once ; 
they are not dear and are made in very small sizes. 
For refrigerating or hard freezing they seem to be very 
desirable where labour is unskilled. 

41. [s) Issue of bulletins. — Only one Bulletin, No. 8 
was in active preparation during the year, and will 
shortly be issued ; 13ulletin No. I — never issued— is also 
in the Press, and Bulletin III (" Preservation and Cure 
of Fish ") was partly revised for early re-issue. 

42. Besides the above miscellaneous items there was 
constant ordinary work both experimental, clerical, and 
account ; e.g., experiments with a small beam-trawl, live 
cages, line fishing, the China net, net making, artificial 
drying, smoking, etc., which need not be detailed but 
which took up time, energy and money. One interesting 
item was a visit to all the department's centres of 
work by Mr. T. Southwell, a.r.c.sc, f.l.s., f.z.s.. Deputy 
Director of Fisheries, Bengal. 

Among the correspondence may be noted letters 
from and to the Salt department relative {a) to the 
amount of salt that should be issued in the south-west 
monsoon, (/;) the amount of salt for particular classes of 
cure, (r) the propriety of issued duty free salt for the 
Colombo pickle cure. 

Other important correspondence related to the 
hardening of fish oils by hydrogenation, while a leading 
Madras firm enquired as to the supply of fish on the 
east coast in view to the possibility of obtaining a regular 
supply of fish oil for soap making or edible purposes ; to 
this firm 1 was unable to give much hope. Correspond- 
ence was also held with the Salt department and with 
the Geological Survey of India in hopes of obtaining 
potash (for fish-oil soaps, etc.) from the bittern or from 
possible potassic deposits, but there appears to be no 
present available source in India of the potash so greatly 
needed in the soap and other industries ; seaweed (kelp) 
is not available on Madras coasts, and potash cannot, at 
present, be commercially won from our abundant potash - 
felspar (orthoclase, often used as road metal in Frode 
and Namakkal taluks, etc.), though I note that the 
United States Potash Company with a capital of ^50,000, 



120 

has just been formed to extract potash from Maryland 
felspar by a process said to be commercially profitable. 

Oil Chemist's Work. 

43. This was practically a new branch and is a very 
interesting and important departure, both in itself and 
its probable developments. The Oil Chemist was 
employed on various analyses and experiments on fish 
oils and soaps both at the Indian Research Institute, 
Bangalore, and, by the courtesy of the authorities, at the 
Agricultural College, Coimbatore ; these need not be 
detailed though important to the department and 
hereafter to the industry. The work at Tanur from 
September was disappointingly cut short by the almost 
entire absence of sardines (paragraph 5 supra) so that 
the experimental investigation of improvements devised 
to improve the oil and prevent rancidity could not be 
carried out. The good effect of ordinary caustic lime 
on the effluent water, in place of the expensive chlo- 
ride of lime, was partly, but as yet insufficiently, 
demonstrated ; this is an important result as the effluent 
water is apt to be a nuisance. 

But the making of fish-oil soap was the main duty 
of the oil chemist. At Bangalore he got in touch with 
the Agricultural and Military authorities and at their 
request experimented in special soap making, using 
Tanur fish-oil and stearine as the fatty constituents ; the 
Agricultural authorities required the soap for insecticidal 
work ; the Military demanded a good harness soap. 
Owing to the absence or great costliness of potash by 
reason of the war, the chemist was forced to use soda 
and succeeded in making a soap which was found 
highly insecticidal, both for bug and scale on coffee, for 
tea pests such as the bark louse, mildew, etc., and — 
very diluted — for mango hoppers ; the solution also kills 
larger insects such as ants and grass-hoppers, but though 
thus inimical to insect and fungoid pests it is wholly 
innocuous to plant life. Experiments are also being 
tried on the fungoid pests of the areca nut, etc. Two 
soaps are made for planters' requirements, viz., a pure 
fish-oil soap, and a fish-oil rosin soap ; the latter merely 
requires admixture with water to form a spraying solution, 
thus relieving planters of the trouble of dissolving their 



I2t 

rosin as is usual. Opinions differ as to the formulae to 
be used, as some planters prefer alkaline soaps while the 
scientists desire it neutral : there is at present much to 
learn in the matter since soaps must probably differ con- 
siderably according to the insect to be destroyed, its 
stage of life, the time of year, the character of the crop 
(coffee, tea, etc.), the rapidity of action required, and even 
the elevation of the estate ; the chemist has made a 
number of enquiries on various estates. 

Up to date about i8 tons of soaps have been made 
and issued and a very useful profit obtained ; the 
demands for next season are likely to be far greater, and 
with fish-oil and stearine cheaper we can give even 
better terms or take larger profit. 

The military authorities have not yet reported on the 
soap supplied to thern. Should this be equally suc- 
cessful there will be an excellent outlet for fish-oil and 
stearine on the coast. 

44. Plant was locally obtained for making these 
soaps and is now available for considerable experimental 
work. Advantage was taken of the technological 
knowledge and skill of the chemist and of the results of 
analysis when examining the soaps generally used by 
planters and for harness and leather, to experiment in 
ordinary soaps, and the expert succeeded, even with 
small handstirred plant, in making high quality genuine 
soaps which have been tested with excellent results for 
some months. Sanction was given by Government in 
March 1915 for further experimental work. 



12 2 

Fro7n — Sir Frederick. Nicholson, k.cm.e., Honorary 

Director of Fisheries. 
Z>rt/^^— Madras, the 26th August 1916. 

I have the honour to submit my annual report for 

1915-16. 
^ * * * * * 

2. 

3. The staff remahied the same as in the previous 
year, except that Mr. B. Sundara Raj, m.a., was 
appointed and joined as Assistant to the Piscicultural 
Expert on 23rd December 1915. Owino- to unforeseen 
circumstances the Honorary Director continued in office 
during the year. 

4. The following is a resume of main operations in 
the various branches : — 

Director s branch. — General control of the depart- 
ment ; Tanur fish-curing yard including curing, smoking, 
pickling (salt and vinegar), fish oil and guano, vinegar, 
oflue, etc. 

Cannery at Chaliyam (Beypore), with cxpermients 
in solar heating. 

Soap-making at Tanur. 

Miscellaneous, including tuition, socio-economic 
work, the Madras Exhibition, Bulletin writing, etc. 

Piscicultural Expert's branch (Mr. H. G. Wil- 
son). — The Sunkesula fish farm, that at Ippur, larvicidal 
work, the stocking of tanks, the re-introduction of 
gourami, Nilgiri trout culture, the conservancy of 
various waters, the detailed examination of the waters 
of Coorg and South Kanara and of a variety of large 
tanks in the districts for conservancy purposes, Exhi- 
bition, project, and miscellaneous work. 

The Marine Biologisf-s branch (Mr. James 
HornelL F.L.S.). — The Tuticorin fish-farm, the edible 
oyster farm at Pulicat, the pearl oyster culture farm at 
Krusadai (Pamban), the preparation of specimens for 
distribution and for educational work, beche-dc-mcr 
cultivation. Exhibition work, investigations for and 
writing of Bulletins, research, and miscellaneous. 

Pearl and Chank branch (Mr. fames HornelL 
F.L.S.). — Chank work over the whole coast between 
Madras and Cape Comorin, including the great fisheries 
of the Tinnevelly and Ramnad district ; chank cutting 
experiments, P^xhibition and miscellaneous work. 



123 



The above and other matters are dealt with seriatim 
and in detail below, the reports of the Piscicultural 
Expert and the Marine Biologist being printed almost 
in full, and an abstract given of pearl and chank fisheries 
operations which are separately reported on. 

5. Dwectoi's branch. — This was run directly by the 
Honorary Director with the co-operation of the Assist- 
ant Director Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., and the Oil Chemist 
Mr. A. K. Menon, b.a. It includes the mass of work 
connoted by the expression "general supervision and 
control of the F'isheries Department " whether adminis- 
trative, technical, or financial, and needs no special 
mention except that each year necessarily and rightly 
increases the volume, diversity, and complexity of the 
work. The negotiations for a new expert Director did 
not materialize and the present officer has had to carry 
on. It also includes the industrial sections worked at 
the Tanur fish-curing and oil and guano yard, tlie 
Beypore cannery, and the soapery. 

6. Tanilr experimental station. — The year was abso- 
lutely disastrous ; a year of fish-famine, not merely at 
Tanur but along the whole coast. The measure of this 
scarcity may be gauged by the fact that only twice, and 
in November only, were sardines procurable for oil 
and guano at Tanur, while at the cannery sardines for 
canning were only obtained on five occasions from ist 
November to the end of February while they should 
have been obtained ten or twenty times as often ; conse- 
quently there was hardly any oil and guano or fish manure 
on the coast, and prices for the minute quantity obtain- 
able were out of all proportion. Mackerel were almost 
equally scarce, and the .early cat-fish shoals for which 
large profits are obtained, were very scanty. A further 
result was the comparative absence of the larger fish 
which feed on the smaller. Hence ordinary operations 
were scanty, and only prawns gave fair results. There 
is little to record because little could be done. 

7. Pickled mackerel. — A new^ departure was made in 
picking mackerel, but these were too scarce for serious 
treatment. Those pickled with salt, like Scotch and 
English pickled herring, and sold moist, were favour- 
ably received, but the cost of mackerel this year, the 
expense of containers, the difficulty of getting water-tight 



124 

containers, the weight of moist fish, and the long railway- 
journeys entailing heavy freight, make the success of the 
experiment doubtful ; it will however be thoroughly tried 
next season when mackerel may be cheaper and the 
experiments on a larger scale. 

A further departure was made in pickling mackerel 
with vinegar and spices, the latter being either pepper 
only or a variety. The idea is (i) that vinegar, being a 
strong antiseptic, will therefore keep the fish in better 
condition than when merely salted and will also minimize 
the use of salt which is wasteful both of nutriment and 
fiavour ; (2) that the product will be both palatable, and 
salutary as an internal antiseptic ; (3) that the product 
can be used by poor people as a condimentary addition 
to cereal foods rather than as a food in itself and thus 
provide a wholesome and savoury addition instead of that 
too often supplied by putridity or " high " condition ; (4) 
that being fairly proof against putrescibility, a keg or tin 
can be opened by a retailer and sold in very small quanti- 
ties to petty consumers. The method is applicable to 
fish other than mackerel, but this fish is usually abundant 
and cheap, and a sort of pickled mackerel known as 
Colombo-cured mackerel is already made by Colombo 
curers on the coast and sent entirely to Ceylon ; this is a 
very hard-cured and unacceptable product. 

The trouble is with containers since small kegs are 
dear and often not water-tight either because of unsuita- 
ble (porous) wood or bad coopering, while kerosine tins 
are acted upon by the vinegar ; this difficulty is being 
got over by employing a good cooper and by double 
lacquering the kerosine tins inside. The experiments 
will be continued next season as very promising if the 
expense can be recouped. 

8. Vinegar. — An essential item in the above cure is 
cheap and good vinegar. British vinegar can never be 
very cheap, since it is an article very bulky for its value 
and has to be sent out in expensive casks ; dear at all 
times, it is, at present, of prohibitive cost. Local vinegar 
made from toddy is only moderately cheap (about 12 
annas per gallon) but is so weak as to be almost useless. 
Consequently the manufacture of vinegar was begun late 
in the year ; the " quick process " was adopted, the 
alcoholic base being rectified spirit with various feeding 



A25 

additions. The small generator was self-devised and 
made, and has made some 62 gallons of very pure 
aromatic vinegfar at below the cost of local vinegar but 
of double the strength. Compared with British vinegar 
it is about the price of such vinegar delivered in Madras 
in normal times but should easily be made at half such 
price. Owing to inexperience, to the imperfections 
of the generator, but above all to the great heat of 
the climate and of the improvised vinegar room and 
consequent undue fermentation-heat in the generator, 
the process, so far, has been unduly wasteful, though 
successful in result and fairly successful in cost notwith- 
standing the abovemenlioned and many other difficulties, 
including the great cost of the rectified (though duty-free) 
spirit at Tanur, the necessary wastage in petty opera- 
tions by want of skill and practice, and the undue retail 
cost of the materials added to the alcoholic base. 
Perhaps the climate has been the worst trouble, for 
with 90"^ to 95° F. as atmospheric temperature there is 
little margin for the necessary fermentative increase of 
temperature, since the maximum permissible limit in the 
generator is 104° F. Consequently much alcohol was 
probably wasted as volatile aldehyde, while the acetic 
acid produced was possibly further decomposed after 
formation. 

Experiments in this and in the slow process will be 
further conducted during the current year both at Tanur 
and Coonoor, but the attention of Messrs. Parry & Co. 
has been invited to the matter, since every condition 
will be more favourable in a vinegar factory attached 
direct to a great distillery with weak spirit, plant, and 
skilled supervision abundantly available. 

9. Glue. — An attempt was made to make fish-glue 
from various waste parts of the fish cured in the yard, 
but the quantities available were small — partly owing to 
the nature of the season — and sufficient attention could 
not be paid to the matter which was (partly) suggested 
by an application from a cotton mill for good fish-glue. 
This will be carefully considered during the current 
year. 

Small consignments of shark skin — a by-product — 
have been supplied to the Police Department for sword 
handles, etc. 



1 26 

I o. Oil and onano. — Only cibout 2} tons of fish guano 
and a proportionate amount of oil were made during- the 
year owing to the unprecedented famine of sardines. 
A forward contract for 10 tons — subject to the capture 
of hsh — had been made with a planter ; early in Febru- 
ary it was by consent attempted to make up this small 
amount by local purchases, but only half a ton was 
available on the whole coast from Tanur to Mangalore 
and that was offered at double the normal rates. This 
incident demonstrates the character of the scarcity ; the 
250 private factories did hardly any work during the 
season. There were forward contracts made by parties 
on the coast for 400 and 500 tons which were absolutely 
unfilled. 

New and simple plant intended to promote the 
manufacture of the best oil at the lowest cost and in the 
simplest manner is in hand. 

11. Cannery. — The same scarcity of fish entirely 
spoilt canning operations at Beypore ; sardines were 
only obtained five times in four months and mackerel 
were but moderately available. Hence the number of 
tins packed was very small, especially of sardines. The 
applications received and declined for want of stock 
number hundreds. 

For lack of the true oil-sardine (Clupca Longicehs 
or " nalla matti ") the chala matti (Clnpea fiuibriata) 
was tried, but proved to be fit only for third-class work, 
being lean, tasteless, and very bony. 

The new plant for making solderless tins was suc- 
cessfully brought into operation, but had only scanty 
scope for its considerable capacity. 

12. Fish frozen after the Henderson method was 
very successfully prepared and experimentally distri- 
buted. A small refrigerating plant and oil-engine had 
been set up, in which the fish, previously cleaned and 
slowly cooled to about 35^ F. to get rid of the animal 
heat, was plunged into clean brine at a temperature 
of from 10° to \^^ F. The frozen fish when removed 
were packed in paper and a basket with 2 or 3 inches 
of paddy husk as insulation, and in this way travelled 
successfully for se\^eral hundred miles and up to two 
days in time on many occasions, without a single failure, 
even though, as personally seen, the parcels were 



127 

unnecessarily exposed to the midday sun on an open 
railway plattorm. Experimentally the process was quite 
successful : commercially two things are requisite, viz., 
( i) an organized and continuous supply of really fresh 
hsh of a quality worth the cost of refrigeration and rail 
way parcel carriage, (2) a plant sufficiently large to deal 
with several hundredweight at a time, since the expense 
of engine power and expert attendance cannot be re- 
couped on small cpiantities, and the railways can hardly 
provide the special accommodation which would still 
further assist the process, without considerable and 
regular consignments. Point ( i ) will be further ^dealt 
with during the current year as two Ratnagiri boats have 
been bought for deep-sea work ; it may then be possible 
to brinor jn a fair amount of oood fish in o-ood condition, 
and the plant can deal with about one hundredweight 
at a charoe. 

13. The abovementioned boats were bought too late 
for work during the year, but will, it is hoj)ed, give 
considerable data and useful quantities of fish during 
the current year. They were bought very cheaply and 
are provided with nets ; our own crews are able to work 
them, and this will to some extent solve the difficulty of 
getting deep-sea work done now that Ratnagiri boats 
find plenty of work on their own Bombay coasts and 
have ceased comino- south. 

14. The necessity for protecting the inside of tins 
from the action of vinegar and of prawn tiesh, etc., led 
to various experiments ; up to date, double lacquering, 
well stoved to obtain a hard texture and to bind it to the 
surface of the tin, has been found fairly successful. This 
double stoving was troublesome and somewhat costly in 
fuel (kerosene); hence a return was made to old Canna- 
nore experiments in sun heating in a " solar oven." 
This is simply a stout teakwood box, blackened inside, 
provided with a closely fitting, double glass top and in- 
sulated by insertion in an outer case with double walls ; 
the tins are filled into this and covered with a blackened 
tin sheet ; the double glass top being placed in position, 
the direct rays of the sun readily traverse the glass 
which, however, intercepts the radiated heat. With this 
simple apparatus a midday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) tempera- 
ture of from 240" to 275^^ F. has been readily attained, 



128 

and 290^.* F with the aid of a single olass mirror. The 
stoving' is excellently done, the heat cannot rise too high 
(300° F. is the maximum permissible for soldered tins), 
and costs absolutely nothing. For all mere oven or 
baking (or cooking) purposes this is a very efficient and 
cheap application of sun heat available in many occupa- 
tions and industries ; it is useless for evaporation but 
will be used, with the necessary adaptations now being- 
devised, for supplying hot water at boiling point and 
perhaps low pressure steam ; this will be most useful in 
various cannery, oil and guano, and soap-making opera- 
tions. With mirrors far greater heat can of course be 
obtained. The subject is being pursued as giving an 
almost costless source of baking" or stovinoT heat, but tiie 
West Coast is the wrong locality for experiment owing 
to a long south-west monsoon, frequent cloud, and a 
moist atmosphere which muffles or absorbs and, to that 
extent, lowers direct heat. 

15. Cannery shortage. — The abovementioned short- 
age offish has been a main factor in the production of 
complaints against the cannery for deficiency of goods ; 
complaints which are as complimentary as unreasonable. 
For canning purposes sardines and mackerel are the 
permanent mainstays of Indian work and when these fish 
are absent the largest, best managed factory must run 
short of goods unless it is old enough to have accumu- 
lated great reserves. Usually sardine and mackerel in 
condition for canning (all sardines are not) are frequent 
from September to April ; during the season under 
report, viz., 210 days from ist September, sardines were 
obtainable only on 15 occasions, of which there were 
only 5 from ist November to 31st March, usually the 
height of the canning" season ; mackerel on 44 occasions 
of which only 13 were in 1916. Hence, since the can- 
nery though well fitted, is small and is still young and 
experimental, only a few thousand tins could be prepared. 
In fact the previous year was also bad, so that July 19 15 
found the cannery practically without stock ; this reacted 
unfavourably in the year under report since masses of 

* With tin plate reflectors attached to the sides and an arrangement for 
keeping the glass cover of the nvpn jierpendicular to the sun's ra\s, 310" F. has 
easily been attained (March 1917) and iht jieriod of high temperature greatly 
lengthened. 



129 

early orders came In from September 1915 which could 
not be filled and cans had to be sent out as soon as they 
had passed the observation stage. 

Only experts know, moreover, how much fish has to 
be rejected as tainted or soft from long detention in the 
boats and how short a time — a few hours — is available 
from the arrival on shore, even of fresh fish, before the 
fish in these tropical regions are useless for canning. 
Only when catching is organized as completely as 
canning (i.e., when the habits and methods of the fishing 
classes and their subservience to local capitalists are 
radically altered) will it be possible fully to utilise any 
cannery, and even such organization would be useless in 
seasons such asi9i5-i6 when fish are totally absent 
not merely from the neighbourhood but from the coast 
in general. The negotiations for a motor launch which 
is a necessity even in ordinary years for the main reason 
given above, viz., the necessity for frequent supplies of 
absolutely fresh fish, have unfortunately fallen through, 
but a cannery launch will be necessary in 191 7 for this 
and other purposes. 

Moreover the demand is itself largely responsible for 
the absence of stock ; hundreds of orders were received 
at the beginning of the season when, as mentioned 
above, there was no stock in hand, and so many orders 
are habitually received, literally from Kashmir to Ceylon, 
that it has been necessary to refuse all except Presidency 
orders. The public have learnt even in three years, 
mainly of experiment, that our cannery goods are both 
cheap and good and that it is highly profitable to deal 
direct with the factory and not with a middleman or 
retailer. A commercial cannery is constituted to turn 
out cans by the million and not by the ten thousand ; 
moreover factories when old-established and not new, 
usually keep an enormous reserve, partly to allow of 
goods maturing, partly as the surplus of abundant years ; 
hence some of the difficulties of a small and new factory 
which moreover is primarily constituted to make goods 
as experimental and demonstrational essays, and sells 
them partly to get rid of them, partly to advertise the 
facts and cost of canned goods in view to the develop- 
ment by others of commercial work. But for the war it 
is almost certain that one and possibly two firms from 

9 



I ^o 



England would have taken up the matter on data sup- 
plied by the department, and in fact a Madras European 
firm has now bought up the Mahe cannery and intends, 
partly with the aid of our experiments and experience, 
to develop a commercial business. 

It is also to be remembered that dealing direct with 
a single factory is wholly different from dealing with a 
store or shop which draws its supplies from perhaps 
dozens of factories in many countries so that the abund- 
ance of one compensates for the deficiencies of another ; 
even so a shop is often " out of stock " but it is not 
usually blamed for such deficiency, 

1 6. Deep-sea work. — This has never yet been attempt- 
ed by the department which has confined itself in its 
early life, to the work lying more nearly to hand, such as 
curing, fish-farming, etc. ; it was considered better with 
very limited staff, funds, and experience, to examine 
existing methods, to attempt to improve as food the fish 
caught by such methods, to learn the conditions affecting 
inshore catching and curing, and to apply our energies 
to local improvements, before launching out literally 
into the deep. Deep-sea work demands material and 
superintendence which we have not got and which are 
very costly, and though a beginning was attempted in 
the sanctioned recruitment in 191 3-1 4 of a master 
fisherman and his mate, the matter fell throuo^h — thouoh 
the men had actually been selected in July 19 14 — by 
reason of the outbreak of war ; the men selected are now 
mine sweeping. The work will be a prominent feature 
of the next decade. 

17, The boats built some years ago (" Turbinella " 
and " Sutherland ") though good in themselves were 
unsuited to fishery work in these waters and to the 
handling of Indian crews, while they are not big enough 
— nor have we the men — -to accommodate British master 
fishermen in long deep-sea voyages. For a couple of 
years the Ratnagiri deep-sea boats which came after the 
monsoon to South Kanara and Malabar coasts, were 
utilised, but these have now ceased coming south owing 
to improved fishery conditions in Bombay and they 
refuse to be hired on any reasonable terms. These 
boats with their native crews can stay far out at sea for 
some days together, and it is therefore quite possible to 



begin deep-sea work with their aid, though it is barely 
possible to get fishing data intelligently logged by the 
skippers, or the fish sufficiently well treated on board. 
Hence with Government sanction two boats with 
nets, etc., were bought by the Assistant Director, 
too late for use during the past season but now ready 
for immediate work when it is hoped with our own 
trained crews, (i) to explore to some extent the deeper 
waters up to the lOO fathom limit, (2) to obtain a 
supply of the larger sorts of fish for the cannery and 
curing yard, (3) to pay special attention to the where- 
abouts of shoal fish (sardines, mackerel, etc.) when not 
found inshore, (4) to experiment in the better treatment, 
temporary preservation, etc., of fish on board, (5) to 
eno-aee in other miscellaneous duties such as those of 
carriers. 

18. Work of the Pisci cultural Expert {Mr. H. C. 
Wilson). — This was, as usual, entirely on the fresh waters 
of the Presidency; the chief items are catalogued in 
paragraph 4 supra, and the details will be found in 
Appendix I which contains the bulk of a report written 
for this annual report. A further summary would be 
useless ; moreover where, as in this and in Mr. Hornell's 
report, there is so much of interest, even in the details, 
it appears useful to publish the whole of the two reports 
rather than a summary, it being, however, understood 
that where there may be debatable matter rather than 
facts, the opinions or expectations expressed are not 
necessarily accepted by the Director. It may be men- 
tioned (though the result belongs to the current year) 
that the considerable consignments of gourami [Ospkro- 
menus olfax) both from Mauritius and from Java (see para- 
graph 9 of Mr. Wilson's report), were most successfully 
transported to Madras and both batches are doing well ; 
this introduction should be highly useful in the course of 
a few years. The Mauritius consignment was prepared 
and despatched entirely by the care and courtesy of the 
Government of Mauritius to whom our cordial thanks 
are due and have been sent. The other batch was 
personally collected and conducted by Mr. Wilson who 
went to Java^where the fish are indigenous — for the 
purpose, and by the kind assistance of the authorities 

9A 



132 

in Java and of the several shipping companies, was 
able to bring the fish to Madras with very moderate 
loss. 

19. Work of the Superintendent of Pearl and Chank 
Fishei'ies and Marine Biologist, Mr. fames Hornell, 
F.L.S. — A list of work supervised and done by Mr. 
Hornell is mentioned in paragraph 4 supra, and all details 
are mentioned in his report, written for this annual report 
and for the most part printed as Appendix II. Where so 
much is of interest it is difficult to select, but attention may 
be specially directed to Mr, Hornell's success in dealing 
with the chank diving population especially in the newly 
leased fisheries of the Ramnad district, and in the initial 
and successful attempt to relieve the divers from undue 
thraldom to merchants, money-lenders, and boatowners. 
Incidentally the success of his measures led to unprece- 
dented success in winning chanks, so that the net profit 
— all expenses deducted — from the several chank fish- 
eries amounted to Rs. 51,000 for the year (ending 30th 
June), a revenue not hitherto approached. It may here 
be noted that, given similar and increased success in 
subsequent years, this department may, in a few years, 
become wholly self-supporting, considering {a^ the above 
and increasing net income, and the possibilities from 
culture pearls and fish-farms, {b) the increased rentals 
obtained for the rivers and tanks under Mr. Wilson's 
conservancy operations, and from his fish-farms, (f) the 
returns from the Government fish-curing yard at Tanur 
with its sales of cured fish, its oil and guano operations, 
its vinegar and other miscellaneous sales including the 
produce of over 500 cocoanut trees planted by this 
department, {d) the sales of the cannery, and {e) of the 
soapery which, at least on the side of its fish-oil soaps, 
is attached to this department. 

20. Work of the Assista7it Director, — This has con- 
sisted partly in assisting the Honorary Director in run- 
ning the West Coast stations, partly in supervising all 
office work including the disposal of routine matters, and 
the examination of accounts, vouchers, etc., partly in tours 
of enquiry for general purposes and for the preparation 
of Bulletin No. 9 which is mainly his work, partly in that 
socio-economic work (see paragraph 21 infra) in which 



133 



he is deeply interested and for which his knowledge and 
experience are invaluable. He was also mainly instru- 
mental in preparing the West Coast fishery exhibits for 
the Madras Exhibition, and was also a member of the 
Central Committee. 

2 1. Social work. — As will be seen from Mr. Hornell's 
report, good work has been done by him in connection 
with the chank divers in the way of assisting them to 
escape from the thraldom of dependence on boatowners 
and other capitalists petty or otherwise ; he has also 
further plans for assisting the ordinary fishermen to 
obtain boats and gear by Government loans, and this 
will be seriously taken up in the current year. On the 
West Coast Mr. V. Govindan, Assistant Director, has 
especially interested himself in similar matters, but more 
from the co-operative and association standpoint, feeling 
that the fisherfolk over great areas are " not in touch 
with the civilised world " and that they require awaken- 
ing and stimulating. Ignorance, superstition, and hide- 
bound routine are but one item of backwardness ; 
poverty and economic thraldom to the money-lender, 
whether merchant, curer, or boatowner, form another ; 
intemperance and entire unthrift a third ; while the 
uncertainty of mere inshore fishing, the inability to fish 
the deep, the long idle period — especially on the West 
Coast — of the monsoon, the numerous holidays and off- 
days, and the sickness induced by insanitation, are a 
fourth. Bulletin No. 9 published during the year and 
mainly compiled by the Assistant Director gives a good 
deal of first-hand information on the condition of the 
fisherfolk, but this is only a basis for much closer enquiry 
during the next few year-s. 

22. It will be seen, then, that on this socio-economic 
side enormous problems lie before the Fisheries Depart- 
ment if it is to do its full duty by the fisherfolk. Some- 
thing is being attempted, and, best of all symptoms, 
partly by the people themselves. This department has, 
through the Assistant Director, established a co-operative 
society at Tanur, and a second was formed and registered 
at Tellicherry with above 100 members, of whom about 
30 were female curers and fish hawkers ; another was 
in process of formation at Ouilandy. The Tanur society 
was greatly hampered by the fish famine which, in fact, 



^34 

necessitated considerable private charity. The temper- 
ance society at Malpe, mentioned in previous reports, is 
developing into a co-operative society by the terms of its 
formation ; during the two years of its active Hfe its 
70 members, chiefly young men, have, as per their rules, 
accumulated a fund of Rs. 700 which represent their 
savings by abstention from drink, in itself a very notable 
fact. This fund is to be utilised in loans to the members ; 
hence the development towards co-operation while main- 
taining the original object. 

23. The Tanur evening school continued to work at 
elementary education and appropriate industrial opera- 
tions ; additions are to be made shortly to its attractive- 
ness, and in South Kanara some of the fisherfolk are 
anxious to have a similar night school. But the 
Assistant Director reports that in places, especially on 
the East Coast where the fishing hamlets are overgrown 
with prickly-pear and consequently very insanitary, the 
folk would rather have the hamlet swept and garnished 
and sanitated than provided with a school, and it is 
undeniable that filthy surroundings and bad water have 
much to do with intemperance and disease. A combina- 
tion of Government loans for the purchase of boats and 
nets, of co-operative societies for the general uplift of 
the people in the wonderful co-operative way, and of 
schools for instruction in general knowledge, in accounts, 
in special nature- knowledge, and in the industries by 
which they live, will be the potent instruments which 
this department will now have to use, under new auspices, 
for the development not so much of fisheries as of the 
fisherfolk. 

24. Soap ivorks. — This, as before, was under Mr. 
A. K. Menon, b.a., an officer trained in England both in 
the work of an oil chemist and in that of practical soap 
manufacture. This series of operations is dealt with 
under " Fisheries" though distinct therefrom (1) because 
it originally (191 3) sprang from Fisheries, (2) because 
the soapery has, for reasons of convenience, been 
hitherto placed by Government under the Director of 
Fisheries. There are two sides to the soapery which it 
is well to define carefully, since the public is apt to sup- 
pose that the ordinary soaps, now about to be put on the 
market, are made from or with fish oil which, of course, 



135 

is absolutely incorrect and is an idea merely based on 
the fact that the operations are in charge of this depart- 
ment. The first side is that where fish-oil and stearine 
are worked up into insecticidal soaps for use by planters, 
fruit growers, etc. ; this is a derivative industry from the 
production of fish-oil by the department. The second 
side deals with the production of ordinary soaps for 
household and personal use, in which fish-oil finds no 
place whatever, its sole connection with fisheries being 
in its direction, and, till now, its location at Tanur. 

25. During the year fish-oil insecticidal soaps were 
made to the amount of about 28 tons (including balance) 
and nearly 25 tons were sold. Of these the greater 
proportion was a soap containing rosin which the 
planters prefer to plain soap ; as stated last year, this 
rosin soap readily dissolves in water, so that an emulsion 
is formed by simply stirring a small quantity of the pasty 
substance in a pail or barrel of water. The plain soap 
continued to be sold with profit at Rs. 12 and the rosin 
soap at Rs. 16 per hundredweight, notwithstanding the 
rise in prices of fish-oil, alkali, and rosin. 

A larger demand was anticipated, but the year proved 
less pestiferous than usual ; moreover it was reported 
from some estates that areas treated last year with 
this soap were less infested than before. The soaps 
were very favourably reported on by the Government 
Entomologist as against " mango hopper," a 75 per cent 
crop being considered probable where such means are 
adopted ; if this is so, there should be a wider future 
for these insecticidal soaps. Enquiries were received 
about this soap from the Punjab to the Federated Malay 
States. 

26. The soapery for ordinary soaps is, however, far 
more important, and its small scale operations very 
sucessful. With a small i-ton locally made pan and 
some frames, excellent soap has been made of various 
classes, samples of which were exhibited at the Madras 
Exhibition ; subsequently sales have been frequent — 
about 3 tons — though, owing to the smallness of opera- 
tions, to the work on the fish-oil soaps, and to the 
heavy work of opening a new factory on a larger scale, 
the soap has not yet been placed in bulk on the open 
market but will be by the time that this report is issued. 



136 

The cost has been most carefully calculated and the 
registers, drawn up on regular factory lines, will show 
the precise cost and profits not only of each class but 
of each batch of soap so that reliable data will be available. 
The prices have recently been settled and though gly- 
cerine has not yet been recovered, the proposed prices 
give reasonable profit as will be demonstrated in the 
next report. 

27. Owing to the demonstrated success of the soaps. 
Government were pleased, towards the end of the finan- 
cial year, to allot Rs. 75,000 for soap experiments during 
igiG-^iy, and special instruction was given that opera- 
tions should include glycerine recovery. Orders and 
offers were consequently sent to England to one of the 
chief makers of soap machinery, and a toilet soap plant 
and other machines were fortunately obtained from stock 
and are now (August) on their way out. The larger and 
less complicated plant has been made out here, but, 
owing to the war, there has been grievous delay and 
extra cost in obtaining the plant which includes a 5 -ton 
soap pan, boiler, etc., all now in place ; it is difficult at 
present to obtain even common iron tanks. The vacuum 
glycerine plant will probably not be available for many 
months, but an ordinary evaporation plant is being 
erected, to be steamed from our new boiler. The new 
plant at Calicut should be making soap by ist September 
and the toilet soap plant may be in operation by ist 
October.* 

28. The soap made is solely genuine soap without 
any adulteration or even filling ; it has excellent lathering 
qualities, and can be sold at a good profit more cheaply 
than Western soaps of equal character. As mentioned in 
a lecture on " Soap " at the Madras Exhibition, oils are 
available out here at cheap rates which are unknown — 
in practice at all events — to the Western soap maker; 
e.g., Mr. Menon re-discovered an oil which, prior to the 
entry of kerosine oil, was a general illuminant on the 
West Coast, but has now largely fallen into disfavour 
and is proportionately cheap ; this is an excellent soap 
oil and will be largely used. Other oils and fats than 
those commonly known are and will be tried. Owing 

* Owing to unavoidable (1ela\s work did nul fairly begin till January. 



137 

partly to the high price or total absence of synthetic 
perfumes and colours but mainly to a desire to use 
indigenous products only, experiments have been made 
in using these latter, and quasi-toilet (cold process) soaps 
of a very pleasing character have been made with very 
low charges for perfume. 

It may be mentioned that samples of our soap sent 
home were reported to be " too good for the price " ; it 
will be gratifying if both quality and price suit both 
consumer and manufacturer. 

29. Mr, Menon made several tours and accumulated 
considerable information not onlv as regards the sources 
and prices of raw materials of all kinds, including 
indigenous perfumes, but of the Western soaps most in 
favour in this Presidency. He also prepared a capital 
exhibit for the Madras Industrial Exhibition which, how- 
ever, would have been more useful if it could atoiue have 
been followed up by commercial operations. He also 
attended the United Planters' Association where he read 
a paper on "The Uses of Soap as an Insecticide," and 
discussed the question with the assembled planters. 

Altogether the work done, considering the delays 
caused by the war and the necessary difficulties attending 
the start of a new industry, was satisfactory 

30. Notable features in fisheries industrial work were 
the display of products, from all branches of the depart- 
ment, at the Madras Exhibition, and the visit o/a Member 
of Council (the Hon'ble Sir Alexander Cardew) to the 
West Coast in October 1915. Both events proved to be 
of importance and assistance, and Sir Alexander's visit 
gave very desirable encouragement to those supervising 
this set of infant industries. 

31. A great British firm consulted this department 
regarding the opening of oil and guano works on the 
Departmental system and this, it is believed, is in process 
of initiation ; also as regards the preparation and use of 
certain oils in another direction. 

32. Owing to the extraordinarily bad season little 
work was done during the year by the 244 small private 
oil and ouano factories which have been established, 
more or less on this department's system. 

TjT^. Miscellaneous. — The usual amount of correspond- 
ence was carried on with other departments, with 



purveyors of material and plant and consumers of goods, 
with enquirers, etc., many miscellaneous experiments 
were conducted, both successful and the reverse. The 
Madras Industrial Exhibition eave considerable work to 
the department but the results were worth the trouble. 
The following Bulletins were published during the year, 
viz. : — 

(i) Bulletin No. i consisting of papers from 1899 
relating chiefly to the development of the Madras 
Fisheries Bureau ; 

(2) No. 8 dealing with marine fishery investigations 
in Madras, 19 14-15 ; 

(3) No. 9 being a first attempt to display with some 
degree of accuracy certain statistics relating to the 
fishing population of the Madras Presidency. 

34. As required by Government the receipts of the 
department and the expenditure relating to certain of 
the items are shown in an Appendix (III). 



APPENDIX I. 

Report by H. C. Wilson, Esq., Piscicultural Expert, 

Madras P^isheries. 

I was in charge of the piscicultural operations during the year 
under report as Piscicultural Expert and was engaged in tours of 
inspection and special investigations. Most of my time was therefore 
spent in touring and the following districts were visited during the 
year : — 

South Kanara was visited twice in April and January to examine 
its rivers, as instructed in G.O. Mis. No. 1543, Revenue, dated 28th 
May 1 914. 

The Nilgiris were visited in connection with the hatchery work, 
stocking of streams, etc., in the months of May, June and November. 

I toured in the Kurnool district in the months of July, February 
and March in connection with the Sunkesula fish farm, stocking of 
the Kurnool-Cuddapah canal, examination of permanent water-tanks, 
inspection of the Kistna Gorge, investigation of the Nallamalais to 
draw up an anti-malarial scheme, etc. 

September, October, and March were spent in ^■isiting Hyderabad, 
Vizagapatam, and the permanent waters near ^Nfadras and in the 
districts of Chingleput, North Arcot, etc. 

Coorg rivers were again inspected agreeably to the orders of Gov- 
ernment to decide the suitability for re-stocking with non-indigenous 
fish and suggest for the improvement of their fisheries. 



J39 

2. Staff. — The several posts sanctioned for my branch during the 
re-organization of the Fishery Department were all filled up during 
the year. 

Mr. B. Sundara Raj, .m.a., who was the Zoological Assistant in 
the Madras Museum, was appointed as my Assistant in December 
last. He was specially deputed to investigate the more or less 
permanent waters of the Presidency and report on their suitability 
or otherwise for the improvement of their fisheries. Most of the 
important tanks in the Presidency excepting those in the districts of 
Cuddapah and Northern Circars were inspected and reported on. 
He has also made a preliminary investigation of the fisheries of the 
several branches of the Godfivari river from the anicut to the sea, in 
connection with our scheme for conservancy and re-stocking of the 
upper waters of the Godavari and its perennial tributaries, Sileru 
Sabari and Machkand rivers, which 1 hope to complete this year. 
Several tanks have been selected and steps are being taken to improve 
their fisheries, by introducing valuable non-indigenous species of 
fish. 



3. Sunkesiila fish farm . , . The farm work progressed well 
during the year. A large head of quick growing non-predaceous 
carp were maintained at the farm for stocking purposes and these 
were mostly turned out into the Tangadencha tank with a view to 
counteract the deleterious effect due to the breaching of the tank the 
year before last. To give the introduced fish a good chance of 
breeding, the fishery of this section of the canal will not be auctioned 
for a few years, until the tank has again become fully stocked by our 
operations. Many thousands of murrel fry bred at the Sunkesula 
fish farm were turned out into the Edurur swamp for growing. 

One of the breeding ponds was set aside and specially prepared 
for the breeding of Osphromenus olfax. The acclimatisation of 
Tench (Tinea vulgaris) bids fair to be a success, but of course takes 
considerable time. 

4. Hiha hatchery. — I am sorry to say that there were no opera- 
tions at the hatchery owing to the absence of ripe fish. I deputed my 
Sub-Assistant to wait at the Lower Anicut during the most likely 
time for obtaining ripe fish, but to no purpose. I have found it is 
only in exceptional years "that those fish can be obtained in this 
condition. 

5. Stocking of tanks and canals. — As mentioned in paragraph 3 
supra most of the fish from the farm were turned out at Tangadencha 
tank, which is a natural distributing centre for the whole of the 
Kurnool-Cuddapah canal. The following tanks were also stocked : — 

T- ■', ' ■'■ , ■■■ ■" "'\ Bellary district. 

Kamalapuram tank ... ... ...J ■' 

Markapur tank ... ... ...\ 

Venkatapuram tank ... ... ... ! ^^ 1 j- ^ • . 

T3 1 1: 1 f-lvurnool district. 

Belegal tank ... ... | 

. Badai Khan tank ... ... ... J 



140 

The tanks of Barur and Penukondapuram, Salem district, were 
stocked with E. Suratensis a species which is non-indigenous to 
these tanks. 

6. Collair scheme. — This work is at present being held up owing to 
the existence of stake nets and basket cruives, the removal of which 
is absolutely necessary for working out the scheme successfully and it 
will be taken up later. 

7. Ippur fish farm. — This is still under construction and from the 
recent report I had from the Executive Engineer, Nellore, the farm 
will not be ready for another three months. All the heavy fishery 
utensils were, however, removed to the farm and kept in the store 
room and some of the ponds have also been planted with lilies. The 
farm will, it is hoped, be brought into working order before the 
close of the current financial year. 

8. Acclimatisation of tinea vulgaris. — As stated in paragraph 3 
supra, the small consignment of these fish which was introduced 
into the Sunkesula fish farm in February 191 4, was again supple- 
mented by a further consignment during the year under report. The 
result will be reported in due course, 

9. Foivder factory scheme. —The ponds in the late gunpowder factory 
at Vyasarpady were handed over to this department on application 
from us, to utilize them for piscicultural purposes. My scheme to 
use these most valuable ponds for growing larvicides and other 
valuable fish was sanctioned by Government in G.O. Mis. No. 1854, 
Revenue, dated 9th /August 19 15. The several ponds were cleaned 
and provided with suitable shutters, screens, etc., and stocked with 
the following fish, viz., Etroptus suratensis, Megalops cyprinoides 
and a large number of larvicidal fish. E. Suratensis are being kept 
specially for introducing into many of the permanent water tanks 
— vide my letter Ref. No, 167, dated i6th June 191 6. where they are 
at present non-indigenous. These fish which are highly prized by the 
Indian population, will be bred on a large scale at our farms for 
stocking districts where they are at present non-indigenous. 

One of the ponds is set aside for O. olfax (gourami) as a resting 
place (after their long journey) for the consignments which we hope 
to get (since obtained) from Java and Mauritius. These will be 
distributed to the fish farms where careful selections will be made for 
breeding purposes. The flesh value of these fish is exceedingly great 
and they should eventually prove a most valuable addition to the food 
supply of the country. They are non-predaceous and live mostly on 
pond weed and lilies. 

10. Nallamalais scheme. — As per my report,; dated the 15th Sep- 
tember 1915, approved by the Surgeon-General and sanctioned by 
Government in their Order No. 2689, Revenue, dated 3rd December 
1915, this scheme is to try and improve the notorious fever zone in 
the Nallamalais, Kurnool district, by the use of fish larvicides. 
Arrangements are being made for breeding these fish in large numbers 
in the hills at a site chosen as near as possible to the scene of opera- 
tions, for the purpose of stocking all the isolated permanent water- 
holes existing in these jungles. During the dry weather the above 
mentioned holes form the only possible mosquito-breeding and 



I4T 

collecting places over an exceedingly large malarial infected area. 
Owing to the dryness of the atmosphere in this district and during 
this period, mosquitoes can only exist in close proximity to moisture ; 
otherwise, from observations made, I have noticed that their bodies 
soon become shrivelled and the mosquito dies. It is also highly 
probable that long before all moisture has left the bodies, their net- 
work of breathing tubes (tracheae) become dry and useless and the 
mosquito suffocates ; at all events, it will not survive long in a dry 
climate without uioisture. 

It is natural when the dry weather sets in, for mosquitoes to collect 
at these permanent water-holes, and here large numbers of anophelenes 
can be found where they breed and their offspring are enabled to 
survive the dry period by remaining near the water. During this 
trying period all animal life concentrates round these water-holes, and 
the necessary blood without which the female mosquito cannot deposit 
fertile eggs, is always obtainable. The quiet undisturbed surfaces of 
these water-holes heavily charged with vegetable matter, form ideal 
breeding places for mosquitoes. 

A large percentage of the Chenchus (the jungle tribe inhabiting 
these hills) are heavily infected with malaria, judging from the number 
of enlarged spleens noticeable, and as their camps at this period are 
of necessity in close proximity to permanent waters, it is not necessary 
to look further afield to find the source where the mosquitoes (the 
survivors of this dry period) become infected each year. This scheme 
is to attack all these permanent breeding ponds by the introduction 
of larvicidal fish. The site for the operations has been selected and 
the work will presently be put in hand. 

II. Red Hills ta?ik scheme. — During the year under report, a 
scheme was drawn up for utilising the permanent waters of Red Hills 
and Cholavaram tanks near Madras for the eventual distribution of 
valuable fish to other parts of the Presidency. The method of opera- 
tions consists of constructing ponds for breeding and conditioning 
valuable non-indigenous fish where there is permanent water for 
stocking the tanks over a number of years. Dealing with these 
extensive permanent water areas which form the drinking supply 
reservoirs of Madras is slightly complicated owing to the prohibitions 
necessary to prevent pollution. This scheme avoids all danger from 
this point of view which is explained as follows : — 

The site for breeding ^nd conditioning operations has been 
selected remote from the Red Hills tank (the main drinking supply 
reservoir) near Cholavaram tank. As netting operations in Red 
Hills are objectionable from a possible pollution and health point 
of view, it is necessary to devise other means of procuring the result- 
ant fry of these stocking operations or, in other words, of winning 
the harvest for further distribution throughout the Presidency. To 
enable us to carry this out successfully, we have of necessity to continue 
the stocking operations over several years with valuable non-preda- 
ceous species of fish, i.e., to overcome quickly all natural loss (from 
predaceous fish, etc.) and thoroughly establish the non-indigenous 
stock. It is the nature of these fish to breed in the reedy places of 
tanks and for their progeny after a certain growth to migrate up-stream 



142 

and they will in time naturally spread themselves throughout the 
entire system of Red Hills supply which includes an exceedingly large 
number of tanks and streams. 

As soon as this takes place there will be a constant supply of fry 
running up-stream, i.e., up the supplying or feed channels, each year 
during the freshes and it is this supply we mean to tap in the main 
channel at Cholavaram and all other feeders, so that no netting need 
take place in the main reservoir of Red Hills. 

That they will be established is an absolute certainty, as out of 
one large stocking alone there will be many survivors ; but to facilitate 
this, where we are dealing with such an enormous water area and to 
enable us to obtain a large supply in a quicker time, it becomes 
necessary to re-stock successively for a number of years. 

The scheme was sanctioned by Government in (t.O. Mis. No. 
1 1 26, Revenue, dated i8th May 191 6, and the work will be put under 
way at an early date. 

12. Inspectiofi of Cooi-g and South Kanara rivers. — The above 
rivers were again inspected during the year agreeably to the orders 
contained in G.O. Mis. No. 1543, Revenue, dated 28th May 1914, 
and G.O. Mis. No. 2586, Revenue, dated 22nd November 1915. 
The Coorg rivers were inspected to ascertain the water temperatures 
and natural feeding, etc., so as to determine the most valuable 
non-indigenous fish to introduce. A final report was drawn up and 
submitted with my letter Ref. No. 87, dated 31st March 1916, 
embodying therein proposals for the improvement of the fisheries. 

Some of the South Kanara rivers which had yet to be examined, 
were investigated during the year, and a detailed proposal is now 
being drawn up to improve the rivers pisciculturally by the establish- 
ment of a fish farm at Neriya in the Beltangadi taluk of the South 
Kanara district. 

To put an end to some of the destructive methods of fishing, such 
as fixing stake nets, basket traps, etc., all the important rivers of the 
district were brought under section 6 of the Fishery Act for a period 
of two years from July last. This will enable the district officials to 
remove the fixed engines and prosecute the offenders, a necessary 
preliminary start for our future work of stocking. 

13. Fishery legisJn/ion. — A small step was taken during the year 
in the way of fishery legislation. Fishery Act IV of 1897 is powerless 
for punishing poachers, because the removal of fish from public 
waters does not, under the existing law, constitute theft. This state 
of affairs gave immense opportunity for outsiders to fish with impunity 
even in the tanks and canals which were stocked by Government. On 
a strong representation, Government were pleased to bring all the 
tanks and canals that are operated on by this department under 
section 6 of the above Act for a period of two years. So also in the 
case of rivers, it was found absolutely necessary to remove or prohibit 
all destructive methods of fishing, such as basket traps, stake nets, 
poisoning, etc., by which means the rivers have for many years been 
denuded of fish including the merest fry. All the important rivers of 
the Presidency together with their tributaries were also brought under 
the above section of the Act temporarily for a period of two years. 



14 



'> 



14- Inspection of tanks. — Through the kindness of the Departmen 
of Public Works a list of tanks in the Presidency containing more or 
less permanent water was drawn up for inspection. As stated in 
paragraph 2 supra, my Assistant inspected and reported on all the 
tanks in the districts of South Arcot. Tinnevelly, North Arcot, 
Chittoor, Nellore, and Anantapur, while I inspected the tanks in the 
districts of Kurnool, Chingleput and the tanks near Madras. A 
proposal for dealing with these tanks has lately been drawn up and 
submitted in my letter Ref. No. 167, dated i6th June 1916 

The fisheries of the following tanks were also taken up, viz., 
Belegal and Badaikhan, Venkatapuram and Kocheruvu tanks in the 
Kurnool district ; in the case of the first two tanks the District Board 
concerned had to be paid compensation, while the fisheries of the 
latter two were assumed by us under G.O. No. 100 I., dated 20th 
February 191 4. A proposal to take over the fisheries of the Kamala- 
puram tank in the Bellary district was submitted with my letter 
No. 794, dated 14th December 191 5, and no orders have as yet been 
received. 

15. The Can very and Cokroon fisheries. — The above fisheries 
which were taken up by Government were auctioned out last year in 
the districts of South Arcot, Tanjore and Trichinopoly. As stated 
elsewhere, these auctions were invariably attended by my Sub-Assistant 
to assist or advise in the matter. There is every tendency for the 
rentals to increase annually, due to the increased fishery harvest and 
consequent gain to the contractor. The conservation of the upper 
waters of the Cauvery at Hoginka! and that of the Bhavani and 
Moyar have undoubtedly improved these fisheries considerably. 
Proposals were also submitted for taking over the Cauvery fisheries 
in the district of Coimbatore, but no orders have as yet been received 
on the matter. 

16. llie IV ilgiris fisheries. -T\\Q con?,er\2iX\cy of the Bhavani and 
Moyar rivers is still being carried out in a satisfactory way ; the upper 
waters of these rivers having a marked increase of fish and the 
fisheries of lower reaches far below these operations, are being vastly 
improved. The streams on the plateau are fully stocked with trout 
which are breeding so rapidly that re-stocking with live fish food has 
been increased. The fish have become so prolific that I will advise 
the removal of all restriction regarding minimum size to be retained 
by anglers and increase the Irmit of the number that can be killed 
under a single license during next season. My Inspector, Lakshmana 
Ayyar, has carried out his work in a satisfactory way. 

At the request of the Chairman, Municipal Council, Cannanore, 
I visited Cannanore and its surroundings and advised him as to the 
best anti-malarial methods to adopt ; see my letter No. 68, dated 29th 
February 19 16. 

The Chairman, Municipal Council, Bellary, was supplied with 
2,000 mosquito larvicides for stocking purposes. 

The Director of Industries, Banganapalli State, was also advised 
about the best method of stocking the wells and tanks in the State, 
and he is also being supplied with a small consignment of murrel fry 
for growing purposes. 



• i 



144 

As a result of the Exhibition held in December last, many enqui- 
ries were made about the use of the fish tin carriers, etc., and some 
of the enquirers were supplied with carriers and instructed how to use 

them. 

The President, Taluk Board, Mannargudi, requested this depart- 
ment to inspect one of the tanks in the Mannargudi town and suggest 
the best means of improving its fishery. The tank was inspected by 
my Sub-Assistant and the President was advised about the methods 
to be adopted for che same. 

17. Remarks. — All the more important waters of the Presidency 
are gradually being taken over by this department and are temporarily 
being stocked with the best kinds of fish indigenous to India. Later 
when large stocks are available at the different fish farms, I hope to 
introduce to all these waters non-indigenous fish, such as ' Osphro- 
menus olfax and Tinea vulgaris, which will be of very much greater 
value as a food supply to the people and also to the fish revenues of 
the Presidency. 



APPENDIX II. 

Report h;^ J. Hornell, Esq., F.L.S., Government Marine Biologist 
and Superinte?ident of Pearl and Chank Fislieries, Tiiticorin. 

I have the honour to submit the following summary of work done 
in my section of the Fisheries Department during the financial year 
1915-16. 

2. The operations under review may be grouped in five separate 
categories, namely {a) those dealing with the exploitation of the 
Government monopolies of the pearl and chank fisheries, (/') those 
concerned directly with the commercial development of marine indus- 
tries, {c) those having for their object the economic improvement of 
the fishing population, {d) educational work, comprising fishery pro- 
paganda, the training of fishery students, and the provision of 
teaching collections for schools and colleges ; and lastly (e) the all 
important investigation of the life histories of food fishes and their 
enemies, together with those physical and biological problems which 
affect their abundance or their scarcity, and which in consequence 
control the prosperity of our fisheries. 

3. Financial results. — I am pleased to be able to state that the 
working of this section has been phenomenally successful from the 
revenue standpoint, more particularly in respect of the chank fisheries. 
A far higher total of shells has been fished than in any previous 
similar period and as expenses have been normal, the result is that 
this section of fisheries will have a net profit to pass to the credit of 
revenue much higher than in any year since Government undertook 
the departmental conduct of this fishery. As the chank fishing year 
does not terminate till 30th June I am unable to give the exact figures 
of gross value of the produce and net profits thereon ; the former will, 
however, certainly exceed Rs. 92,000, and the latter Rs. 49,000, as 
against Rs. 40,014 and Rs. 16,759, respectively, obtained during the 



H5 



year ending 30th June 1915. The net profit of over Rs. 49,000 
constitutes a remarkable record, for the nearest figures are those for 
1881-S2, when Rs. 28,690 was obtained from the Tinnevelly and 
Tanjore fisheries. The pearl fishery contributed in addition a net 
sum of Rs. 2,000 as rental for the Tondi beds for the period from 
ist June 1915 till 31st December 1916, while the following minor 
sources produced the sums noted against each : — 

RS. 

Experimental fish farm, sale-proceeds ... 414 

Oyster farm, Pulicat, sale-proceeds ... ... 315 

Museum specimens and school collections, 
sale-proceeds ... ... ... ... 360 

Miscellaneous items of revenue (net) ... 203 

4. Increase in office work. — It goes without saying that these 
favourable results and the general extension of the scope of work, as 
shown in detail in the succeeding paragraphs, have been attained 
only by much sustained effort and hard work ; one phase of this is 
shown strikingly in the great increase in the volume of correspondence 
dealt with. The following statistics of the papers registered inwards 
and outwards show some part of the increase in routine work falling 
upon the office staft' at Tuticorin. Every one of these papers has to 
be considered or approved of by myself, so it can be well imagined 
from this how difficult it is for me to spare time for research work — 
the special duty, I take it, of my original appointment. 



Official year, i.e., 
1st April to 
31st .Varch. 



1913— 14 

1914-15 ••• 

1915-16 

5. Progress of the chank fisheries. — During the past 3'ear the chank 
fisheries have developed most satisfactorily. Both the Tinnevelly 
and Ramnad fisheries have more than doubled in production, and 
this, in view of the bitter competition for labour which exists between 
Government and the Ceylon chank merchants, is particularly 
gratifying. It means that the divers of Kilakarai, who are the men 
concerned, have come to appreciate and respond to the fair and just 
treatment and good wages received at the hands of this department. 
Last year these men were full of suspicion and distrust — the result of 
malicious stories spread with a view to dissuade them from entering 
(jovernment service. These men know now from their personal 
experience how utterly false these stories were and as a body have 
expressed themselves as anxious and willing to work regularly for 
Government at future fisheries. They have been enabled by th's 
department to emancipate themselves, so far as Indian waters are 
concerned, from the system of pledging their services to boat-owners 
in exchange for cash advances. They now work as free men receiving 

10 



Number of 


Number of 


references 


references 


sent out as 


received 


per the 


as per the 


outward 


inward 


register. 


register. 


861 


912 


1,281 


1,532 


1,832 


2,094 



s 146 

their full earnings daily and their ambition is to see the end of the 
old indebtedness and thus to obtain their freedom in the Ceylon 
fishery as they have now attained it in the Indian one. This result 
is one for congratulation as "Well from the narrow view of Government 
revenue as from the broader one which takes account of the economic 
advancement of the fishing community. 

Out of some 600 divers belonging to Kilakarai, some 350 
attended this year's fishery ; next year I believe the number will be 
further increased, provided the men be not deterred by unfair means. 
With such increase in the labour force the produce of the fishery will 
advance concurrently. 

7. During the fishery season now ending a considerable amount 
of prospecting for new beds was carried out, and I was fortunate in 
being able to locate some rich chank ground north of Adam's Bridge, 
i.e., between Danushkodi and Talaimannar. This new bed I hope 
to exploit next season ; in addition, I have arranged with a number 
of the more energetic Kilakarai divers to attempt the opening up 
of the beds which, we believe, lie outside of the islands off the 
Kilakarai coast and which have never been fished within living 
memory. The prospects for a largely increased production of chanks 
in the coming season are very good and I have every hope that we 
may then harvest from the Ramnad beds over half a million chanks 
as against the 3I lakhs obtained this year. What will further help 
the great financial success I expect next season is the circumstance 
that the sale price of this quality of shell has appieciated fully 25 per 
cent during the current year and that next season we shall benefit to 
this extent from this rise. 

8. The success already attained is particularly gratifying to me 
personally as it amply justifies the arguments I set before Government 
when I recommended the acquisition of the Ramnad chank fishery. 
The difficulties experienced and small profits obtained during the 
first two years of working caused, I fear, some doubt to arise in the 
mind of Government as to the wisdom of my advice, but the great 
advance in the present year's gains demonstrate that my recommen- 
dations were sound, and that the undertaking is and should continue 
to be eminently profitable to Government. 

9. The Tinnevelly chank fishery showed equal progress. It will 
yield not less than Rs. 24,901 of net profit this year, which compares 
notably with Rs. 10,305 of the preceding year. This good result 
has been attained principally through the success that has attended 
my efforts to recruit additional labour from other districts. Owing to 
the feeling among the Tuticorin divers that the pay given is too low 
to be remunerative, the diving force has suffered steady diminution 
year by year for several years past, and the salvation of this fishery 
appears to have been found in the willingness of a section of the 
Kilakarai men to join the fisherv now that their distrust of Govern- 
ment service has been allayed. Till the present season Kilakarai 
men never fished at Tuticorin and the fact that I was able to induce 
25 Kilakarai men and 5 Arabs to join the fishery has been the means 
of making good, in great part, t'he defection of the Tuticorin men ; it 
marks, I believe, the beginning of an era of increased prosperity, 



147 

provided so?7ie increase in pay he given ^ for although these recruits 
have found the work sufficiently profitable, and express themselves 
particularly well satisfied with the treatQient meted out to them, there 
is some doubt if they will return if the pay be not raised, as they get 
double the Tuticorin rate when they work in their home waters 
(Kilakarai), and also because, from their newly acquired experience of 
the Tuticorin fishery, they have good hopes of finding the hitherto 
unworked deep-water beds off their own coast as profitable in the 
numbers of shells available for fishing as the beds oft' Tuticorin. I 
doubt, however, if the quantity fishable in the former place is so great 
as they expect, but as the pay is so much better, this will compensate 
for smaller catches. Hence to retain, as is necessary, their services 
in part for the Tuticorin fishery, and to bring back the local men who 
have drifted to other occupations, I am strongly of opinion that 
the time has now come for a reasonable increase in the rate paid, if 
the prosperity of the fishery is to increase as it ought. If this be done 
we shall also be enabled to recruit larger numbers of the Kilakarai 
divers, in which case (and it is only a question of a small increase in 
the rate of remuneration) there is no reason why instead of the present 
2f lakhs produced by the Tinnevelly beds, these should not yield 
double this quantity. 

10. Demand from the Calcutta chank market at present is good 
and competition keen for any contracts that are open. I'he Tanjore 
chank fishery, formerly let on a three years' lease ending 29th Febru- 
ary 1916, for a payment in kind of 12, coo shells annually, has been 
re-let for another three years' term for a rent of 42,000 shells per 
annum ; the bulk of these rental shells have in turn been sold forward 
for a term of three years, at the rate of Rs. 141 per 1,000 as against 
Rs. 55 per 1,000 formerly paid. On this basis the Tanjore fishery 
will eventually produce a net revenue of Rs. 5,922 per annum. 
Here again we have attained at last a satisfactory return to the old 
era of prosperity which closed in 1826 when the fishery was sold 
for Rs. 5,444 per annum. Between 1826 and the present time only 
once did the fishery bring in Rs. 2,500 while from 1866 onwards 
till now never did it rise beyond Rs. 750 per annum. 

11. The firmness of the Calcutta market makes it certain that the 
Ramnad contract now under negotiation will be concluded at a 
greatly enhanced rate, as off'ers much higher than the present contract, 
shortly to end, have already been received. 

12. The chank fisheries belonging to or leased by this Government 
have now been brought to a condition of prosperity never before 
equalled, and if the present generous policy in development be con- 
tinued and extended, the net profit to Government will certainly be 
very greatly enhanced. As showing the growing importance of this 
branch of fishery work I may point out that the sum of Rs. 60,691 
was paid into the Treasury on account of chanks during 191 5-16, 
and that this sum will in turn be exceeded in 1916-17, is already 
assured by the stock now ready for delivery in the Government 
god owns at Tuticorin and Ramesvaram. I am quite satisfied that 
within three years a return of a full lakh of rupees will be produced 
by these fisheries. 

lO-A 



148 

13- The Pearl Fishery brought in the modest sum of Rs. 2,000 
net revenue, the amount at which the Tondi Pearl Banks were leased 
to a Nagore merchant. So far I fear his venture has not been a 
success, as the inducements he offered to divers proved inadequate to 
attract their attendance at his fishery. Very few divers attended and 
I am informed that the fishery lasted for eight or nine days only (April 
1 91 6) and produced barely 5,000 oysters. The lessee hopes to have 
better fortune in September. It appears that a considerable propor- 
tion of the younger oysters left upon the ground fished in 1914 have 
survived — a gratifying fact, as it confirms my belief that Palks Bay 
is the nursery of the pearl oysters which from time to time re-populate 
with their spawn the more profitable banks located in the Gulf of 
Mannar. 

14. Pearl oysters were also found in 5 1 to 6 fathoms off 
Rameswaram during the chank fishery, and this source I hope to draw 
upon for material when the Krusadai Pearl Farm be completed. 

15. Inspection of the pearl banks off the Tinnevelly coast was 
again hampered by the absence of the Inspection Schooner " Lady 
Nicholson ", which was on War Service at Madras till November 
1915. Overhaul and repairs detained the vessel in Madras till the 
end of March, and when she arrived at Tuticorin the inspection season 
was ending. However by the utilization of the motor launch 
" Sutherland ", the principal banks off Tuticorin were inspected ; the 
result was as last year — an absolute dearth of pearl oysters thereon. 

16. On one occasion, however, when a bamboo buoy placed on 
Rolikunjutavu chank bed (near the Tholayiram Par) on 17th Decem- 
ber 1915 was removed on 22nd February 1916, great numbers of 
undoubted pearl oyster spat were found, showing the first favourable 
sign of a pending re-population of the banks seen for several years. 

17. Krusadai pearl-ailhire station. — During the past year the 
revenue authorities placed this department in possession of Krusadai 
island. The acquisition value assessed as compensation to the 
former owner (the Raja of Ramnad) was Rs. 4,882, but against this I 
understand that he has appealed. The island when surveyed was 
found to measure 107*7 acres in area ; two cocoanut topes comprising 
972 trees in or near bearing and 287 young ones form the only 
cultivation. These plantations were in a very neglected condition 
when taken over and will cost considerable expense and much 
trouble to bring into a satisfactory state. The undergrowth is now 
being cleared away, the trees earthed, paths made, wells dug, and 
efficient watering organized. With attention and care the trees should 
yield a remunerative return in the course of a few years. 

The final plans and estimates of the buildings have not yet been 
received from the Executive Engineer. 

18. Sea fisheries other than those fvr pearls and chunks. — Consider- 
able increase in our knowledge of the methods and requirements of 
cur local fisheries was gained during the year, together with some 
valuable data, yet to be worked up, in regard to the life-histories and 
parasites of our food-fishes, edible crustaceans and shellfish. The 
latter will be referred to further under the heading " Research " 
Work was Qontinued upon the surface circulation of water in the local 



149 

seas, and valuable facts are beginning to emerge from the data already 
collected. 

19. Fishery Legislation. — With the intimate acquaintance now- 
being acquired with the conditions under which sea-fishing is carried 
on upon our coasts, it becomes possible to single out here and there 
those methods which are pre-eminently destructive or otherwise 
objectionable ; it is however impossible as yet to frame any general 
fishery regulations governing in detail the sizes and forms of fishery 
apparatus throughout the Presidency ; as Government wisely desire 
to do nothing to limit or restrict sea-fishing except upon evidence the 
most direct and irrefutable, the procedure thus necessitated is to intro- 
duce from time to time regulations touching particular methods or 
practices. The first of these to be framed is one published under the 
Indian Fisheries Act, 1897, in the Fort St. George Gazette of 31st 
March, 191 6, whereby the practice of placing trees and bushes in the 
sea for the purpose of attracting fishes is placed under the supervision 
and control of the Superintendent of Pearl and Chank Fisheries ; this 
fishing device is prevalent throughout the Indian waters of Palk Bay 
and is objectionable in several ways — as an infringement of the 
general fishery freedom of the sea, as dangerous to navigation, and as 
interfering in certain places with the proper prosecution of the chank 
fishery. In future, licenses for the placing of these fixed engines must 
be obtained and by this means this method will be regulated and 
limited to those places where its employment is not objectionable. 
Other regulations are under consideration, but in a country so conser- 
vative as India progress in regulative legislation is particularly slow 
and difficult. 

20. Steam traivling. — Evidence based upon experiments instituted 
by the writer some years ago was published during the year, showing the 
great potentialities possessed by the vast area within the loo-fathom 
line (approximately 4,000 square miles) lying oft" Cape Comorin, for 
profitable steam trawling when once certain difficulties connected with 
transport to inland markets can be overcome. Practical progress is 
however held up at present owing to the financial stringency entailed 
by the war ; meanwhile plans are being elaborated while designs and 
specifications have been obtained from home for a vessel constructed 
with a view to subserve extensive and prolonged experiments upon a 
commercial scale as well as to serve other urgent fishery requirements. 
We shall thus be in a position to proceed with this investigation, 
which is, I believe, the most urgent and by far the most important of 
all present fishery problems, as soon as circumstances again become 
normal. India is crying aloud for the inception of new industries and 
here is one which if successful — and the omens are all favourable — • 
should open up a new and almost inexhaustible source of food supply. 

21. The deep-sea fisheries off Negapatam and the migrations of the 
Sardine, together with the causes of the deplorable failure of this 
fishery on the Malabar coast in 1915-16, still remain uninvestigated, 
owing to the inadequacy of the marine biological staff" to find 
time for these investigations. The enquiry into the causes of wide- 
spread local mortality of fishes has been however advanced to some 
extent, and its cause found to be, in the instances investigated, che 



I50 

presence of immense myriads of excessively small protozoans belonging 
to the family of ijeridinaans, associated in certain localities with 
multitudes of infusorians allied to the well-known Paramcecium. These 
latter appear to feed upon the peridineans and to emit an intolerable 
odour, indistinguishable from that emitted by the putrid refuse of ill- 
kept sardine-oil factories. The peridineans when occurring unmixed 
give a bright pink-red tint to the sea-water and patches of this "red 
water " — wholly different in tint from the brown-red of water dis- 
coloured by the presence of the pelagic alga Trichodesmium erythraea — 
were observed several acres in extent, and had a vertical extension of 
several fast. The predatory infusorian on the contrary, as it grows in 
size, tends to rise to the surface, where it forms a pale pea-green scum. 
Local fishermen believe it to be pearl oyster spawn, as the individuals 
when massed are distinguishable to the naked eye, so comparatively 
large are they. 

2 2. Fishery statistics. — -A four years' investigation of the Tuticorin 
fish supply was completed last year. The tabulation of the results has 
proved most illuminative and it became possible for the first time to 
trace with exactitude a fishery curve for each of the local food-fishes 
and to assess their relative importance in the food supply of the 
district. By far the most important ^\t valai ( Ctiiroccntrus dorah)^ 
sardines, and rockfishes, taken in the order named. If similar 
statistical enquiries were to be conducted at a number of selected ports 
in other districts, we should obtain a mass of exact information that 
would be of the greatest possible value in the future development of 
our fisheries. The Tuticorin results have been tabulated in a series 
of graphic diagrams and will be ready for publication at an early date. 

23. Fish-farming. — -The fish-farm at Tuticorin referred to in last 
year's report was completed at the beginning of the last financial year, 
and we have had therefore a full year's experience of the value of the 
Italian system of fish-farming under Indian conditions as exhibited on 
the East Coast of this Presidency. The results have proved insuffi- 
ciently promising to justify a continuance of the experiment on these 
lines, in spite of the fact that the initial year's sales offish and prawns 
grown in the farm have totalled Rs. 4 r 3-9-7 as against running 
charges of Rs. 541-10-4. I have no doubt that with the experience 
gained the farm can be run profitably, but the margin cannot be made 
sufficiently large to commend the system. Hence a reversion to the 
French system (with modifications) has been proposed, as our knowl- 
edge now points to this as being likely to prove more suitable to local 
conditions. New plans and estimates have been drawn up and have 
now been sanctioned by Government. In such a departure as this, 
empirical methods have perforce to be employed, and only by repeated 
effort and refusal to be discouraged by initial failure can the unsuitable 
be eliminated and a satisfactory system evolved. The existence of the 
farm and of the methods employed, although not the complete success 
hoped for, have been of great benefit to the local line fishermen, who 
have been enabled thereby to obtain regular daily supplies of bait, 
-which previously they could never depend upon getting. The farm 
has also been able to put on the local market regular supplies of 
prawns from an uncontaminated source and this has been greatly 



appreciated by the local European community, who previously refused 
(and wisely) to buy bazar prawns seeing that these supplies are liable 
to be obtained from sewage contaminated localities. 

24. Prawn-farming. — As the Government cannery at Beypore 
often suffers during the south-west monsoon from a dearth of prawns 
suitable for canning, owing to the interruption of sea-fishing during 
the prevalence of bad weather, I suggested to the Honorary Director 
of Fisheries the desirability of forming a prawn-farm in the vicinity of 
the cannery. By this means an emergent supply would be at hand 
to make good any default in ordinary supplies. I was able to point 
to the suitability of several foreshore ponds adjoining the village of 
Chaliyam and within a few hundred yards of the cannery as suitable 
for conversion into enclosed ponds where prawns may be cultivated 
under satisfactory conditions. The proposal being approved, a survey 
has been made and working plans drawn up for the conversion of 
these ponds into a cultural area extending to about 25 acres, divided 
into two sections by a sluice way. A second sluice will control 
communication with the sea. It is hoped to put the work in hand 
immediately after the close of the current monsoon. 

25. The Pulicat oyster park has pursued a normal course ; the 
demand for the oysters grown there has increased appreciably, but 
even yet a large proportion of the public have not realized the 
advantage of obtaining supplies from a source which can be guaranteed 
as free from sewage pollution, in preference to buying from dealers 
over whose operations no control is exercised. As I stated in a public 
lecture given at the Madras Exhibition last December, I have evidence 
that large quantities of oysters are regularly put on the Madras market 
as coming from Covelong, whereas scarcely any oysters are now 
derived from that place ; it appears certain that these so-called 
" Covelong " oysters come from highly contaminated waters adjacent 
to Madras, The danger of eating uncooked oysters grown in water 
chari^ed with sewage is a very grave one and it is high time that 
safeguards were imposed in the interest of the public health. 

26. Beche-de-mer. — The trade in cured holothurians ("sea- 
cucumbers "), known commercially as beche-de-mer and trepang, some 
years ago was of considerable importance on the shores of Palk 
Bay. Various causes have conduced to the practical extinction of 
the trade, and at present the export of this delicacy (as considered 
by the Chinese) is almost nil. This decline has caused an 
appreciable loss of earnings to a considerable section of the fishing 
population, so, as I cannot see any sound reason why the trade should 
not be profitable to curers and exporters if it be carried on honestly 
and efficiently, I asked for and received sanction from Government 
to open an experimental curing factory at Tirupalagudi, a village on 
the Ramnad coast of Palk Bay, where the problems of successful 
treatment may be investigated upon a practical scale. So far 
difficulties incident to the acquisition of the necessary site have 
prevented a commencement of the work, but as the necessary apparatus 
has been collected a beginning will be possible as soon as I am put 
in possession of the land. I am glad to say that samples cured in a 
rough and ready fashion and probably considerably inferior to the 



152 

results obtainable when the new factory be available have been 
valued by a first-class Singapore firm at from 24 to 25 dollars per 
picul. As the latter weighs 133^ lb., and taking the Straits dollar as 
worth Rs. I -1 2-0, the product as submitted is worth Rs. 32 net per 
cwt., a rate that should admit of fair profit to the curer and a good 
wage to the fisherman who collects the raw material. A difficulty 
exists in the fact that the market for beche-de-mer is subject to 
considerable fluctuation, but with a product of reliable and even 
quality this difficulty is likely to be lessened once the brand becomes 
known. 

27. Chank-cuttmg fnachinery. — The search for a suitable power- 
saw suited to the shell-bangle trade has been referred to in previous 
reports. Through the assistance of the Imperial Institute, a machine 
saw has now been obtained and will shortly be fitted up and tested. 
The supplying firm have large experience in the pearl button industry 
and express their confidence in the suitability of the machine for the 
purpose indicated. As it is of handy size and can be driven by a 
small electric motor, it should have, if successful, a great future as 
these facts, combined with its low prime cost, make it suitable to the 
small manufacturer who cannot afford large premises and an expensive 
engine requiring skilled attention. Incidently its introduction should 
reduce greatly the cost of the production of shell-bangles and thus 
enable manufacturers to pay a higher price for the raw material without 
entailing a rise in price of the finished product. 

28. Pearl button manufacture and inlay work. — Although this 
department is not directly concerned with these trades, I am 
frequently asked to give expert advice to Indian manufacturers. 
During the past year assistance of this sort has been given to button 
manufacturers in Bengal as well as to the Superintendent of the 
Chamarajendra Technical Institute in Mysore. In the latter instance 
it was the question of the matching of the material employed in some 
old pearl inlay work. I was able to identify the pearl flakes as 
fragments of a Pacific Ocean Earshell (Haliotis) and to indicate 
where the material could probably be obtained. 

29. Except our local pearl-oyster { Margarltlfera vulgaris) there 
appears to be no suitable source of mother-of-pearl supply in this 
Presidency, and extensive pearl fisheries are so few and far between 
and the quality of the shell so poor, that no local industry can be 
based upon this supply. Neither have we the great perennial rivers 
needful for the growth in commercial quantities of any of the fresh 
water mussels that contribute vast supplies to the American button^ 
factories. Without rivers of this description, the introduction of 
species of mussels of superior shell value to that of the indigenous 
species will, I fear, be unprofitable. 

30. T/ie s/iell-lime industry. — During the past year I gave attention 
to the various shells used in the manufacture of fine lime in the 
Presidency. The results have been published in a report included in 
Bulletin No. 8 of this department. The outstanding conclusions of 
practical importance are that there is no uniformity in the regulation 
of the industry in different districts and that some of the more 
important sources are either unexploited or are worked without 



153 

regularity and in a wasteful manner. Particularly is the latter abuse 
the case in regard to the sub-fossil shell deposits of Ganjam district. 
For details reference should be made to the bulletin in question. 

31. Edible shellfish. — An enquiry is in progress as to (a) the value 
of the existing shellfish industry of this Presidency, (/') the means of 
increasing the supph'es of the more valuable species, and {c) the 
possibility of introducing improved varieties from other tropical 
countries, particularly the Malay Archipelago and Southern China ; 
in both these countries shellfish are much more extensively eaten than 
in India and great attention is given to their collection and even 
cultivation. This last enquiry is probably the most important and 
the most promising of the three, although it is beset with great initial 
difficulties. 

32. The economic improvement of the fishing population. — To do 
anything to better materially the economic position of the fishing 
population is a problem so vast, varied and intricate that infinite 
patience is required in its treatment ; it cannot be attacked along the 
whole line at once ; only here and there, where circumstances happen 
to be exceptional, can beginnings be made. If they prove successful 
the knowledge of this fact will prove a force of the utmost possible 
assistance in speeding up further progress. The difficulties usually 
are initial and due chiefly to the prejudice of the fishermen themselves 
reinforced by the under-ground opposition of middlemen who dread 
the enlightenment of the men over whom they have hitherto had 
great power. 

33. The organization of the Ramnad chank fishery has brought 
me during the past two years into intimate personal relations with 
the large fishing population of Kilakarai (Ramnad district) who are 
professional chank divers. They number some 600 and till recently 
worked in the Ramnad and Ceylon chank fisheries on what may be 
called the Sammatti system. Under this system, the boatowners or 
Sammattis received large cash advances from the Muhammadan 
chank merchants who are engaged in the Ceylon chank fisheries, and 
also formerly in the Ramnad fishery before Government took up the 
lease. In return, the Sammattis agreed to bring specified numbers 
of divers in their boats to the fishery. To do this, they in turn made 
similar agreements with individual divers, advancing them varying 
sums of money. The divers^ so recruited followed the Sammattis to 
the different fishing rendezvous in Ceylon and Ramnad and fished as 
directed, changing camp from time to time according to the progress 
of the season. For the shells fished, the divers received settled rates 
which usually appear satisfactory in amount. Unfortunately in the 
settlement of accounts many abuses are said to take place. To begin 
with, the Sammattis deduct 10 per cent of the total catch as a per- 
quisite or bonus and 15 per cent as boat hire. The value of the 
remaining 75 per cent of shells is, however, not paid to the men but 
is booked to their credit, while on the debit side is entered a host of 
items for food supplied, fines, interest on the advanced money, and a 
proportion of all charges incurred by the Sammattis. The divers 
never see the Sammatti 's books, and they allege that the system is 
worked so to their detriment that they remain hopelessly in debt 



t54 

however good be the season's fishery. Particularly harsh is the 
deduction of 25 per cent for boat hire and " bonus ". The absence 
of written agreements and of receip'is for moneys paid, etc., play into 
the hands of unscrupulous Sammattis and there is no doubt whatever 
that the divers were (and still are in large degree) the debt-bound 
slaves of the boatowners. 

34. This system seemed so pernicious that, as soon as I under- 
stood it, I resolved to break it up so far as India is concerned in the 
interest of the divers themselves. Hence my negotiations, so far as 
possible, were with the individual divers, and when their confidence 
was at last gained, they have been eager to co-operate. At the last 
Rameswaram fishery, the Sammatti system has been almost entirely 
eliminated ; the Sammatti has had to content himself with reasonable 
hire for his boat and now he gets no perquisites of any sort. As the 
divers require money-advances for the support of their families when 
leaving home, these have to be given, but a small pass-book is handed 
to each man in which the original advance is entered and in which 
all subsequent repayments have to be noted. No further advance is 
given except a small weekly sum of As. 14, per head, till the total 
sum is recouped. When this is done, the diver at once receives 
daily payment in full for all his catch. He is left to settle independ- 
ently with the boatowner whose boat he uses for its daily hire. As 
a consequence, local boats are largely employed as these can usually 
be had at a cheaper rate than those belonging to the Kilakarai 
Sammattis. 

35. So beneficial has this reform been that the divers would like 
to see it extended to their Ceylon work, and many have been their 
requests that Government would take up chank-fishing in Ceylon 
waters, in order that the pernicious Sammatti system may be extin- 
guished in its entirety. Unfortunately a considerable number of 
divers are so deeply indebted to the Sammattis, that they were 
prevented by the latter from working for Government this year, and 
it will be difficult to devise methods to liberate those men from their 
bondage. 

36. Even more hard is the position of many net fishermen on the 
Ramnad coast. These men are almost entirely in the hands of fish- 
dealers who by this pernicious system of cash advances hold the men 
in practical slavery and impose such exceedingly hard terms upon 
them that their life is mere existence and a continual struggle to keep 
from starvation. For the advances given, the fish-dealers take 25 per 
cent of the men's total catches zvitkouf afiy payment or credit wliatever, 
and purchase the remaining 75 per cent at low prices fixed by them- 
selves (the dealers). Even for this balance only a little cash passes, 
as the bulk of the value is booked against the debt and interest thereon. 
Frequently too, the dealer requires the fisherman to buy his rice and 
salt from him at prices considerably above those ruling in the bazar. 
To the problem of how to ameliorate the hard lot of these fishermen 
I am now paying attention and I have hopes that it may be possible 
to render them assistance by means of local co-operative credit 
societies. I have already selected a fishing village on the Rames- 
waram coast where the conditions are somewhat favourable and 



155 

during the coming year, I hope to be able to effect a beginning 
with the aid of the local Roman Catholic parish priest who promises 
his aid and is keen upon the betterment of this section of his 
parishioners. The chief difficulty in introducing the co-operative 
credit system among fishermen is their lack of landed property ; in the 
case named, the men have small holdings and this I count upon to 
help on the scheme. 

37. Advances for the purchase of boats. — During the past year a 
number of divers, who wished to be rendered independent of their old 
Sammattis by possessing boats of their own, were assisted by money 
contributions. The sums advanced were restricted to amounts not 
exceeding two-thirds of the value of the boats purchased ; to prevent 
loss and fraud the latter have been formally transferred to the Superin- 
tendent of Pearl and Chank Fisheries as acting for Government and 
registered in his name. In all, five boats were purchased in this way 
and I am glad to report that the monthly instalments due thereon 
have generally been satisfactorily met. In one case, the whole 
amount advanced has already been refunded. The interest charged 
is 6^ per cent per annum. This assistance has been greatly 
appreciated and many applications have had to be refused as Govern- 
ment do not see their way at present to extend the system to men who 
are not actually engaged in the Government Chank Fisheries. Were 
the system extended to net fishermen, I consider that a great stimulus 
to the fishing industry would result and I hope that means may yet 
be found to overcome the difficulties which Government see to such 
extension. 

38. Chank fishery panchayats. — During the course of the chank 
fishing season irregularities and disputes occur from time to time. As 
these are usually intricate and involve local customs with which the 
Superintendent of Pearl and Chank Fisheries cannot hope to be an 
coiirant, I induced last year both the Rameswaram and Tuticorin 
divers to institute a panchayat or council of elders, to decide such 
matters and to make rules for the sanitation of the fishery camps. The 
results exceeded my expectations and the verdicts were duly accepted 
by the parties concerned. 

39. Educational work. — This section of work has had little opportu- 
nity for expression during the past year and there can be little hope of 
any increase of such usefulness till a central headquarters for the 
department be provided in Madras. Something however has been 
achieved, as the following paragraphs will show. 

40. The Madras Exhibition, 1915 -16. — For the Fisheries Exhibit, 
the Marine section prepared and provided a large number of items, 
inclusive of water colour sketches of local fishes painted from life, 
photographs of fishery methods, models of boats, nets and fish-sluices, 
a collection of chanks illustrative of the different trade varieties and 
local races, collections of chank bangles, etc. A large series of 
biological preparations suitable for teaching purposes in colleges 
were also exhibited ; these included type collections of {a) the edible 
crabs of Madras, {b) typical Brachyura (crabs) of the Presidency, {c) 
Madras crawfishes, {d) Mollusca of Madras. Edible shellfish and 
those used in lime-making were also shown. For the excellence of 



156 

the exhibit, the judges awarded the Marine section a certificate of 
merit. 

41. Two lectures upon the development of Madras fisheries were 
delivered by the writer in the Exhibition Hall, and at the Science 
Congress at Lahore, held in January 1916, a paper was read upon 
the races and varieties of the Indian chank. The last-named is now 
in the press and will be issued as one of the Memoirs of the Indian 
Museum. 

42. Biological and museum specimens. — Many of the specimens 
exhibited at the Madras Exhibition were sold to various colleges, and 
others have been sold subsequently. The most popular seem to be 
the type collections of Madras Crustaceans of which five sets have been 
sold at average prices of Rs. 45 each. One of my sub-assistants has 
been trained to prepare these in first class museum style and as they 
are coloured after nature, they are admirably adapted to the use of 
those schools where intelligent endeavour is made to give pupils 
some slight acquaintance with the fauna of our seas. Similar collec- 
tions of shellfish have been prepared and it is hoped to add others 
of sponges and echinoderms before long. The cramped accommoda- 
tion available at Tuticorin is however a great handicap to progress. 

43. Specimens for dissection have also been provided to several 
teaching institutions and in this direction I foresee great develop- 
ments. All the Zoological teachers whom I met at the Lahore 
Science Congress welcomed the prospect of an Indian source of 
biological supply, and when once sufficient stock can be accumulated — 
which I fear cannot be till the Krusadai Island Biological station be 
in being — a regular demand will assuredly be created. For the past 
year sale? of museum and dissecting specimens amounted to the sum 
of Rs. 360. 

44. Technical instruction was continued during the past year to 
three fishery students from Baroda and Travancore, and I continue to 
afford them assistance by correspondence. In addition, a general 
insight into local fishery problems as they now stand, was given to 
Mr. V. R. Duraiswami Sastri, m.a., l.t., at the request of the Director 
of Public Instruction, in order that this gentleman may impart an 
elementary knowledge of the subject to the teachers who study under 
him. 

45. Research. — As already noted practical work and executive 
routine have bulked so largely in my duties during the past year, that 
research has perforce been given far too little time and attention. 
Several important investigations have however been kept going and 
two of these were completed, namely, an enquiry into the species 
and occurrence of shells capable of use in lime burning, and an 
investigation of varieties and races of Indian chanks. The latter 
research has revealed many interesting facts in the distribution of the 
chank, and shows that the two main varieties arose between the period 
of the upheavel which at one time united India and Ceylon by means 
of a solid land barrier and that of the subsequent depression which 
caused gaps to appear in this barrier at the points we now name 
Pamban Pass and Adam's bridge. 



^57 

46. Other investigations on hand are those connected with (a) the 
surface drift of Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar, {^) the migrations 
of the sardine, {c) the causes of wide-spread local mortality among 
fishes, (d) the food of marine fishes and prawns, (e) the parasites of 
fishes, (/) the edible shellfish resources of the Presidency, (^) fishery 
statistics of Tuticorin and some others of more abstruse nature. 

Regarding the causes of fish mortality I have already made 
reference (paragraph 21), while a summary of the Tuticorin statistics 
is now under preparation. Many valuable isolated faunistic observa- 
tions which some day will become useful, have also been made and 
duly recorded. 

47. BiiUelin No. 8. — During the year the following three papers, 
forming the conclusion of this bulletin, have passed through the press, 
viz. : — 

(<i) " Professor Huxley and the Ceylon Pearl Fishery, with a 
note on the forced or cultural production of free spherical pearls." 
i^b) " Report on the Pearl Fishery held at Tondi, 19 14." 
{c) " I'he utilization of coral and shell for lime burning in the 
Madras Presidency." 

The bulletin is now complete and on the point of issue from the 
Government Press. 

The first paper of another bulletin has also been written and is 
ready for the printer ; its subject is The Edible MoUusca of the Madras 
Presidency. In it is brought together all the available information 
upon the local shellfish which have present or potential economic 
value. It is illustrated with original sketches of all the important 
species and when printed might with advantage be widely distributed 

to schools situated on the sea coast in order to awaken interest in a 

subject of growing importance. 

48. Superior staff. — Difficulty continues to be felt in getting 
satisfactory men to fill the posts of Sub-Assistants, as suit- 
able graduates with the necessary Zoological training find the pay, 
Rs. 50 — 4 — 90, too low. 



15^^ 



Order — No. 2764, Revenue, dated 5TH 
December 19 16. 

The report of the Honorary Director of Fisheries is 
an interesting record of much useful work accomplished 
in spite of difficulties arising- from the continuance of the 
war and from an adverse season. 

2. The great scarcity of fish which marked the two 
previous years on the West Coast was even more 
severely felt in the year under report and seriously ham- 
pered operations at the experimental stations in Malabar. 
Valuable experiments were however carried out in con- 
nection with pickling, the manufacture of vinegar and 
fish glue, the refrigeration of fish and the employment 
of " solar ovens ". The Government are glad to see that 
the utilization of by-products, an important factor in all 
commercial enterprises, is receiving due attention. 

3. The financial results of the Beypore cannery, the 
Tanur fish-curing yard and the Soapery were satis- 
factory and give reason to hope that it will be found 
possible to develop the industries which they are 
intended to promote profitably on a commercial scale. 
The Pulicat Oyster farm was run at a loss and it is a 
question for consideration whether steps could not be 
taken to make its products more widely known. 

4. The gross receipts of the Bureau (exclusive of the 
pearl and chank fisheries) amounted to Rs. 78,588, of 
which Rs. 57,874 was realized from the fishery rentals of 
waters stocked by the department. This figure repre- 
sents an increase of Rs. 19,463 or nearly 60 per cent on 
the rentals realized before stocking operations were 
undertaken. The most important item is the fisheries 
of the Cauvery and the Coleroon. 

5. The Director will be requested to append to his 
reports in future a statement showing the total expendi- 
ture, as well as the total receipts, of the department. 

6. The Piscicultural Expert, in addition to the stock- 
ing and other operations already in his charge, carried 
out much useful investigation work. The Government 
have read with much interest his suggestions for the 
suppression of malarial fever in the Nallamalai hills in 
the Kurnool district. 



159 

7- The results of the chank fisheries and the con- 
nected problems have already been reviewed in G.O. 
No. 2648, dated the 23rd November 19 16. The Govern- 
ment desire the Director to consider whether the annual 
report on the chank fisheries might not more conveniently 
be treated as an enclosure to the Director's administra- 
tion report instead of beingr submitted separately and 
whether anything could be done to relieve Mr. Hornell 
of routine work so as to enable him to devote more 
attention to research work. 

8. A promising feature of the year's record is the 
establishment of co-operative societies among the fisher- 
men of Tanur and Tellicherry, and the Government hope 
that this educative and economic aspect of the work of 
the department will continue to develop. 



i6o 

Letter — from Sri Frederick Nicholson, k.c.i.e., 

Honorary Director of Fisheries. 
J Q — the Secretary to Government, Revenue Department. 
Dated — the loth August 191 7. 

I have the honour to submit my annual report for 
1916-17. 

# # * « 

3. The staff remained throughout the year as in 
1915-16. Though the event belongs strictly to 1917-18, 
I record with deep regret the death, on the i ith 
April 191 7, of Mr. H. C. Wilson, Piscicultural Expert, 
who had been in the department since November 1907 
and to whose skill and energy the whole of the fresh 
water piscicultural work in the Presidency is due. The 
report for that branch has consequently been drawn up 
by the Piscicultural Assistant Mr. B. Sundara Raj, m.a. 

4. The following is an abstract of the main opera- 
tions in the several branches. 

Dh^ectors Branch. — General control of the depart- 
ment ; Tanur fish-curing yard including curing, smoking, 
pickling (salt and vinegar), fish oil and guano, etc. 

Cannery at Chaliyam (Beypore), with experiments 
in solar heating^. 

Soap-making at Calicut and Tanur. 
Miscellaneous, including tuition, socio-economic 
work, Bulletin writing, etc. 

Pisciciiltttral Expert' s branch (Mr. H. C. Wilson). — 
The Sunkesula fish farm, that at Ippur, larvicidal work, 
the stocking of tanks, the re-introduction of Gourami, 
Nilgiri trout culture, the conservancy of various waters, 
the detailed examination of the waters of Coorg and 
South Kanara and of a variety of large tanks in the dis- 
tricts for conservancy purposes, project and miscel- 
laneous work. 

The Marine Biologists branch (Mr. Hornell, F.L.S,). 
— The Tuticorin fish farm, the edible oyster farm at PuH- 
cat, the pearl oyster culture farm at Krusadai (Pamban), 
the preparation of specimens for distribution and for edu- 
cational work, beche-de-mer cultivation, investigations 
for and writing of bulletins, research, and miscellaneous. 



i6i 

Pearl and Chank branch (Mr. James Ho7nell, 
F.L.S.^. — Cbank work over the whole coast between 
Madras and Cape Comorin, including the great fisheries 
of the Tinnevelly and Ramnad districts ; chank cutting 
experiments, and miscellaneous work. 

The above and other matters are dealt with in detail 
below,* the reports of the Piscicultural Assistant and the 
Marine Biologist being printed almost in full. The 
chank fishery report for the season 1916-17 drawn by the 
Superintendent of Pearl and Chank Fisheries, Mr, James 
Hornell, is submitted herewith as an enclosure to this 
report as desired by Government in paragraph 7 of CO. 
No. 2764, Revenue, dated 5th December 1916. The 
accounts of the chank fisheries for the season 1916-17 
have been audited by the Accountant-General and found 
correct. 

5. Director s branch. — This was run directly by myself 
with the co-operation of the Assistant Director Mr. V. 
Govindan, b.a., and the Oil Chemist Mr. A. K. Menon, 
B.A. It includes the mass of work connoted by the expres- 
sion "general supervision and control of the Fisheries 
Department " whether administrative, technical, or finan- 
cial, and needs no special mention except that each year 
necessarily and rightly increases the volume, diversity, 
and complexity of the work. The negotiations for a new 
Director did not materialize and the present officer has 
had to carry on. It also includes the industrial sections 
worked at the Tanur fish-curring and oil and guano yard, 
the Beypore cannery, and the soapery. 

6. Tannr Experinienial station. — The year was better 
than in 1915-16 but not altogether favourable; the sar- 
dines were mostly small and lean as compared with 
ordinary years; the mackerel were unusually small, and 
large fish scarce. The experiments in mackerel pickled 
moist with ordinary salt and pickled with condiments, 
were developed and a considerable number of barrels and 
kerosine tins are in stock, partly for observation as to 
their keeping power, partly for sale especially during the 
monsoon. They are quite successful as products and are 
excellent when properly prepared and cooked, but, like 

* Not priated in this Bulletin ; the original reports may be perused ia G. O. 
No, 285, Revenue, dated 21st January 1918. 

II 



l62 

all salt fish, as much depends upon the cooks as on 
the curer ; salt mackerel prepared in my own house were 
excellent whether plain boiled, broiled, as fish balls, or 
in curry, but the soldiers' cooks did not approve of 
them. The condimented mackerel are excellent for 
those, especially the poor, who only require a small 
portion as a relish with rice or other cereals. 

7. The experiments in vinegar and glue were not 
continued, partly because the demands of the directorate, 
of the soap factory, and of the Industrial Commission 
gave less opportunity than ever for personal attention 
and for improvement of plant and methods, partly because 
the climate of the plains does not lend itself to either 
manufacture ; unless artificially cooled rooms are avail- 
able the evaporation of spirit, the formation of volatile 
aldehyde and the inefficiency of the bacteria, render vine- 
gar making too wasteful for ordinary profit. The matter 
is worth attention in the breweries of Ootacamund or 
the distilleries on the coast where spirit is cheap and 
refrigeration possible. Experiments will, however, now 
be continued at Coonoor where the climate is favour- 
able, being fairly equable. Fish glue, for which several 
enquiries were addressed by business firms to the Direc- 
tor, is never likely to be a serious product since almost 
every part of every fish is used for food ; materials like 
cat-fish heads which would yield glue are particularly 
sought as food, and fish skins are not stripped from fish 
before sale, but are eaten with the fish. Certain products 
may however be yet availed of. But here again, the 
cHmate, and especially the moist heat of the coast, is 
aoainst the manufacture of hard o-lue which will not set 
on the drying- nets at our normal temperatures. 

The oil and guano (fish scrap, obtained after boiling 
and pressing the fish for oil) continued to be of first-class 
quality, and there is now little difference between skim- 
med and pressed oil, while the guano on one occasion 
gave above 9 per cent of nitrogen. 

8. Cannery. — This did better than in the previous 
year and 55,500 tins were packed as against slightly 
above half that number in the previous year ; moreover 
several thousand were of double or more than double 
the ordinary size. 



i63 

9. The chief points worth mentioning are as 
follows : — 

Cans of larger size than usual were frequently 
used, viz., cans holding from 24 up to 48 oz. nett of fish, 
as well as double-sized sardine tins ; this was partly to 
save tin plate, partly to provide cans more suitable than 
small ones for hotels, clubs, refreshment rooms, troops, 
etc., partly to cheapen the price of the contents. Since 
the contents of a can are doubled, trebled, etc., by merely 
deepening it (tops and bottoms remaining the same), 
it is evident that the cost, and therefore the price of the 
larger cans is relatively less than that of two or three, 
etc., smaller cans ; it is possible to give 24 oz. nett of 
fish at a price only about 50 per cent more than that of 
12 oz., and consumers who require the larger quantities 
are thus greatly benefited. 

Other fish (seer, pomfret, etc.) were canned in 
some quantity and have proved successful. 

Many demands for our canned fish were received 
from all over India, Burma and Ceylon, but these, when 
outside of this Presidency, have been regretfully declined 
(except from Military and Red Cross authorities) on the 
necessary ground that the demands of this Presidency 
more than absorb the output of our experimental factory. 

10. Refrigerating fish. — The Henderson method of 
freezing fish was successfully operated till the hot-pot of 
the engine cracked, and notwithstanding efforts, could 
not be replaced within the year. It is, however, to be 
understood that the operations are not and were never 
intended to be, on a commercial basis or scale ; it is a 
very small experimental plant intended to ascertain 
technical y^zf/^, not to make a business profit for which 
plant and organization on a large scale are necessary ; 
large plant to deal with masses offish, and large organi- 
zation first to get the quantities required and secondly 
to obtain and keep the circle of continuous custom 
necessary in dealing with such delicate material as 
fresh fish. 

1 1 . Fishing boats. — Two Ratnagiri boats were ob- 
tained and, with our canoes, brought in considerable 
quantities of fish. One of the boats was manned by a 
Ratnagiri crew, and the other by a partly local crew who 
were to work it as a business proposition. During some 



1 64 

bad weather this latter boat was seriously damaged, delay 
was experienced in repairing it, the crew got discouraged 
and abandoned the enterprise ; so far this part of the 
idea has not worked successfully and the methods will 
have to be reorganized. 

A motor launch was sanctioned for the cannery and 
station work and will probably be built during 191 7-18. 

12. Certain other experiments in the better preserva- 
tion of canned prawns and in canning methods are in 
hand and will be further possible with the greater leisure 
shortly, it is hoped, to be available to myself. 

13. From want of leisure, the solar oven experiments 
were not developed as intended. But the simple 
addition (i) of tin plate reflectors fixed on the sides of 
the oven at an angle of 45° so as to throw the Sun's rays 
into the box, (2) of a turn table and mounting which 
enables the glass surface of the oven to be kept per- 
pendicular to the rays at all hours, has frequently 
produced an internal temperature up to 310° F. which is 
ample for my purpose, viz., that of stoving my lacquered 
tins, while it gives promise of much greater results 
presently in other directions ; the method gives not only 
a higher temperature but a much longer period than 
formerly of the higher temperatures. 

14. Deep sea work. — Except for the Ratnagiri boats 
mentioned above, which stayed out several days at a 
time, no real deep sea work was possible owing to the 
war and consequent inability to obtain ship or men. 

15. Work of the Pisciciilttiral Expert (Mr. H. C. 
Wilson). — Owing to the lamented death by cholera of 
Mr. Wilson at Kurnool on the nth April 1917, the 
report for the year has been drawn up by Mr. B. 
Sundara Raj, m.a., Piscicultural Assistant. The chief 
operations were the Sunkesula fish farm with an addition 
known as the Pudur scheme sanctioned during the year, 
the hilsa hatchery on the Coleroon, the stocking of an 
increased number of tanks, the starting of the Ippur fish 
farm (Nellore district) mainly for larvicides and for the 
breeding of gourami and other valuable fish, the accli- 
matization of tench, the breeding offish, chiefly Etroplus 
and larvicides, in a series of ponds at the old Powder 
Factory, Madras, where gourami are also placed, the 



1 65 

putting in hand of the Nallamalai scheme for the growth 
of larvicides in view to combat local malaria, and other 
anti-malarial work, and the continuance of trout opera- 
tions on the Nilgiris. A considerable area was brought 
under the restrictive operation of section 6 of the 
Fisheries Act (lY of 1897). Apparently the fishermen 
have it their own way in the Colair lake and Upputeru 
rivers for which Mr. Wilson had a promising scheme 
which, however, is useless if the fishermen cannot be 
controlled in the matter of stake nets and fixed engines. 
Mr. Wilson and his staff did a great deal of inspection 
and work not easily recorded ; among Mr. Wilson's 
inspections were detailed and lengthy tours in South 
Kanara and Malabar in view to schemes for stocking 
and conserving the West Coast rivers ; this is mainly 
lost labour by reason of his death. He also visited Java 
and successfully brought back a consignment of gourami 
which are of Qrreat value. 

The Piscicultural Assistant was busily engaged 
throughout the year in inspection and supervision, and 
in making himself acquainted with the work of his 
branch, the conditions of the country, and the operations 
in progress ; he was also in charge during Mr. Wilson's 
absence in Java. 

Sub- Assistant C. G. Chakrapani Ayyangar, b.a., is 
reported to have done useful work throughout the year 
both in actual piscicultural operations, in attending the 
numerous fishery rental auctions, and in supervising 
ofiice work. The bulk of the report is printed in the 
Appendix.* 

16. Pearl and Chank Fisheides and, Marine Biologi- 
cal work (Mr. James Hornell, F.L.S.). — f Pearl and 
chank work was carried on as usual but witli a larger 
net profit (Rs. 46,400) — entirely from chanks — than has 
ever yet been attained except when a regular pearl 
fishery has happened ; nothing was received from pearls 
during the year, for not a pearl oyster was ever in sight. 
Mr. Hornell's exertions in chank fishery matters brought 
about the increased yield from chanks, which, however, 
would have been far higher had a larger diving force 

♦Not reprinted in this Bulletin; see G.O. No. 285, Revenue, dated 2lst 
January 1918. 

t For the full report see G.O. No. 285, Revenue, dated 2lst Ja,nuary 1918. 

12 



i66 

been available for the Ramiiad fisheries and had the 
weather been more favourable for those of Tuticorin. 
Mr. Hornell's lagoon fish-farm at Tuticorin, his biologi- 
cal specimens sold to various colleges, and his revived 
beche-de-mer industry all yielded substantial profit, but 
the Pulicat oyster farm showed a small loss, partly for 
reasons given by Mr. Hornell, partly because it is only 
on an experimental and not on a commercial scale ; it is 
an experiment intended primarily to obtain piscicultural 
data and only secondarily to market the products. For 
real commercial work the farm would have to be on a 
far larger scale and probably in a different locality, with 
an outlet for surplus products by way of canning or 
preparing oyster (and mussel) extracts. 

The plans and estimates for the projected Krusadai 
pearl oyster farm off Pamban were laid before Govern- 
ment ; though costly (Rs. 50,500) at start, it should prove 
a most lucrative investment; apart from Mr. Hornell's 
special aims we know from Japanese experience the 
possibilities of the methods to be adopted at Krusadai ; 
to repeat what I have said elsewhere, we are likely to 
obtain continuous annual returns on a considerable scale 
from a controlled mass of pearl oysters in our fenced farm 
instead of very occasional (now very rare indeed) returns 
from chance deep-sea natural fisheries where conditions 
are absolutely beyond human control. 

17. In accordance with paragraph 7 of G.O. 
No. 2764, Revenue, dated 5th December 19 16, reviewing 
my last year's report, proposals have been sent up to 
Government for reducing Mr. Hornell's routine work 
so as to give him more time to apply his scientific 
knowledge in various directions. 

18. Socio-economic zvoj'k. — (Mainly by Assistant Direc- 
tor, Mr. V. Govindan, b.a., f.z.s.) The formation of 
co-operative societies took up a good deal of the 
Assistant Director's time and energy, this work being of 
extraordinary difficulty among fisherfolk, so much so that 
]\Ir. Hornell is not sanguine of present results in his 
locality, as shown in his report printed below. Three 
societies were in existence at the beginning of the year 
on the West Coast and four more were started during 
the year, with preparation for several others of which 
four have since been formed. One of these was at 



167 

Mangalore and resulted partly from the work of the 
jnanodaya Samaj, as suggested by Government when 
sanctioning a grant-in-aid to the building of a meeting- 
hall for the society, but the co-operative society is a 
separate entity from the Samaj and includes outsiders. 
On the East Coast the Assistant Director laid the 
foundations, as he hoped, at Uppada for a society, but 
the Assistant Registrar has subsequently stated that the 
people, especially the younger men, entirely refused to 
take up the idea. I suppose that there is no class in the 
world who would be more benefited by co-operation in 
its various forms, productive and distributive, than the 
Indian fisherfolk, and no class which presents greater 
difficulties to the reformer. It is not merely a question 
of education but of habits and customs resulting from 
heredity and environment and the conditions of their 
life and livelihood. Hence we are going to take this up 
far more intensely than before. 

{d) The fate of the Temperance Society at Malpe 
mentioned last year, is a case in point ; of purely local 
origin, it had a membership, mostly of very young men, 
of 70 with a fund of Rs. 700, which led to suggestions 
for its development as a co-operative society. But owing 
to the youth of members it became necessary under the 
Act for their natural guardians to become members, and 
these, seduced by the existence of the deposited funds, 
compelled their sons to withdraw from the temperance 
society, taking their money with them. Hence the 
society has been (temporarily) wrecked, but it is hoped 
to restart it. In a previous year I reported that the 
parents of members of a temperance society were its 
chief opponents, owing to the existence of ancestral drink- 
ing habits ; the present case displays another rock of 
stumbling. Pe7^ contra, it is pleasing to note that the 
young Tellicherry Co-operative Society, which now has 
about Rs. 1,500 in hand, was able to assist some of its 
poor members by small loans to tide over the monsoon 
season when, owing to the previous bad fishing season, 
they had no funds ; most of these loans were repaid as 
soon as the new fishing season began. This incident is 
an excellent object lesson in one of the direct benefits 
of co-operation. A co-operative fish-curing society is 
in process of formation at Thalayi near Tellicherry, and 
12-A 



i68 

the papers have gone up to Government for a grant 
of funds. 

19. Education is, Hke co-operation, assumino" a larger 
position in our work ; the school attached to the yard at 
Tanur had 3o boys and earned a grant of Rs. 1 16 during 
the year ; it is run by our yard staff who also teach 
carpentry and smith work. Two evening schools were 
started by the fisherfolk at Thalayi and Kuriyadi, and by 
courtesy of the Collector of South Kanara, we secured a 
site and an old building at Mangalore where a school is 
about to be opened. The Jnanodaya Samaj at Mangalore 
is also doing educational work in addition to its social 
reform work, and on this department's recommendation, 
Government o-ave a half-cjrant towards the buildino- of a 
hall for their use. In G.O. No. 16, Education, dated 3rd 
January 19 17, disposing of correspondence relating to 
the starting of schools for fisherfolk at Mangalore and 
Malpe, Government requested the Director of Public 
Instruction to consider, in consultation with this depart- 
ment, the question of the extension of elementary educa- 
tion among the fisherfolk ; the Director accordingly 
wrote to me on ist June 19 17, making certain proposals 
which are now (July) under consideration ; this should 
lead to systematic work. Pending disposal of this 
matter it may be said, at once, that while on the one 
hand as already stated in my letters read in G.O. No, 16, 
Education, dated 3rd January 19 17, Fishery Educa- 
tional Institutes (as understood in Great Britain, Belgium, 
France, the United States of America, Japan, etc.), 
are not within measurable distance, yet on the other 
hand fishery schools, as foreshadowed in my letters and 
quite different in methods and teaching from ordinary 
elementary schools, are an immediate desideratum. 

The Assistant Director also conferred with the 
trustees of a large endowment for education at an East 
Coast port and is hopeful of special seeing schools 
started. 

20. General. — Two unusual and important events 
marked work on the West Coast, viz., H is Excellency the 
Governor's visit to Calicut, Beypore (cannery) and Tanur 
fish-curing yard, and the visit of the Indian Industrial 
Commission to Calicut when they also inspected the 
cannery and soap works, His Excellency's visit was 



169 

most encouraging both to the department and to the 
fisherfolk who were not only able to interview their 
Governor but to note his personal interest and that of 
his Government in the welfare of these poor and seldom 
visited folk - 

(a) The war unfortunately affected these folk in 
that though the saradine season was not unfavourable in 
North Malabar and South Kanara for the manufacture 
of oil and guano, yet the absence of freight so de- 
stroyed the demand for their products that they fell to 
a very low price and have largely remained, especially 
oil, on the hand. At the low price of the fish guano, it 
should be taken up entirely for the agricultural needs 
of the Presidency. 

[d) The number of private oil and guano factories 
was 253 ; two large European firms entered on the 
business of manufacture, and this should produce im- 
provements. The season was bad for this manufacture 
in South Malabar but o-ood elsewhere. 

(c) An important proposal was made to Govern- 
m.ent by this department to take over all the Government 
fish-curing yards (so-called) from the Salt Department 
and work them more or less after Tanur methods ; the 
matter is pending disposal since other difficult questions 
are bound up with it. 

21. Bng'znn'e's. —Apa.vt from the ordinary business 
demands, a considerable number of serious enquiries 
were made as to products and processes. Two related 
to fish glue and the preparation of '' fish maws " for 
market ; several to the canning and curing of prawns ; 
others as to oil and guano manufacture and the use of 
fish guano as manure. A large order has been placed 
by the Cawnpore Harness and Saddlery factory as the 
result of our samples of fine oil. During the year a 
circular was sent to various Agricultural bodies and 
mercantile firms pointing out the value of fish guano ; 
one result was an order through the Deputy Director 
of Agriculture, Trichinopoly, for four tons for a Co-oper- 
ative Manure Society in Tanjore (Nidamangalam) ; 
many other agricultural inquiries were also received and 
the addresses of local firms supplying the manure (and 
oil) were furnished. It is absurd that it should pay 
Ceylon and even Japan to import our fish guano when 



i;o 



we ourselves grow in abundance rich products such as 
tea, tobacco, etc., for which fish manure is pre-eminently 
suitable. It seems, however, that a good deal is going 
from South Kanara to the Bombay Presidency which 
is a hopeful sign. Enquiries were also received and 
answered from various authorities (Salt, Jail, etc.), and 
private persons as to the cure and preservation and also 
the supply of fish, both salted and fresh. Two firms 
from other Presidencies also enquired about the solar 
oven and requested drawing, etc., these will be fur- 
nished when the matter is more developed and time 
permits. Enquiries were also made for leaflets or other 
literature on fish-curing, etc. ; this indicates a want 
which I propose to meet by the frequent issue of brief 
papers as distinct from the more complete papers 
hitherto drawn up or contemplated ; such papers would 
deal with the treatment of fish from capture to beach, 
market or curing yard ; with certain curing methods ; 
with drying ; with cleanliness and sanitation ; with the 
proper preparation of oil and guano ; with fish culture 
on the pond system, and so forth ; apart altogether 
from socio-economic tractates which are much needed. 

References were also made as to the improvement of 
oils for export and local use ; the Industrial Commission 
spent considerable time in its enquiries into the work 
of the department including also the soap works, and 
examined myself and the Assistant Director at length. 

An important reference on the possibility of com- 
mercially manufacturing " Meat extracts " in India was 
received from the Military authorities and answered, the 
reply being decidedly in the negative. It may be 
possible to produce, on a small scale, extracts from 
oysters and mussels which are not very general articles 
of food in this country, but not meat extracts. 

Another reference was connected with the extraction 
of a certain vegetable fat — by chemicals as opposed to 
mechanical expression — and this also was answered in 
the neo^ative. 

A great variety of miscellaneous references were 
received including some of a tenor much as follows : — 

" I desire to start a soap factory (or cannery, or 
fresh fish trade) and wish to be informed of details of 
the various processes, the materials used and where 



171 

procured, the best locality for a factory, and what profit 
may be expected." Such letters are important not so 
much as showing enterprise but as displaying the extra- 
ordinary and light-hearted ignorance of enquirers who, 
quite genuinely, think that they could be instructed off- 
hand by letter in a complicated manufacturing industry, 
involving a large knowledge of applied chemistry, tech- 
nology, and trade. Such inquiries, as well as facts 
relating to the stagnation of industrial enterprise, show 
the necessity for Government experimental and demon- 
strational factories like those of this department where, 
on behalf of such genuine inquirers, Government may, on 
approved industries, legitimately spend State money 
without expectation of commercial profit as a necessary 
primary result, first in ascertaining facts, processes, mar- 
kets, etc., and then in orivinor thorouoh instruction to 
men prepared to spend capital and energy in starting 
private factories with real knowledge of the work. This 
is the basis of my reply to the Industrial Commission 
who have asked whether Government factories should 
be handed over to private enterprise when they had 
" made their proofs"; I reply in the negative because 
the first duty of the Government factories is experiment ; 
the second is general demonstration, and the third 
advice and full instruction. Even in the presence of 
great factories, should such be established. Government 
factories may long be needed in order to teach and 
advise the smaller folk, to promote small enterprise 
alongside of large, to prevent monopoly and secret ex- 
clusiveness, and to provide skilled artizans and foremen, 
instructors and inspectors. 

22. Soap works.* — Soap manufacture is reported on 
here because it has been placed personally under myself, 
and because in one br mch it uses the fish oil made 
in our Tanur station and elsewhere. As explained in 
last year's report, fish oil is only used for insecticidal 
soaps used on plantations and estates, and forms no 
part whatsoever of soaps used for household or toilet 
purposes. 

23. jFis/i oil soaps. — Only 12 tons of this Tanur 
product were made and sold in the year as against 25 

* From 1918 the report on this branch will be separate. 



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being specially developed. Finally, it is to be noted 
that the soaps are wholly genuine, unadulterated soap 
without any fillings or excess of moisture ; they are 
intended as experiments in genuine goods and as object 
lessons for future local manufacturers. 

It will be seen that we are satisfying the objects on 
which we started, viz., pure, cheap soaps, suited in every 
respect to the various classes of Indian consumers, 
especially those who desire soaps of purely vegetable 
origin, and suited to the waters in which they will be 
used. 

26. During the period of work about 32 tons 
'Washweir and 12 tons 'Vegetol' were made; more 
was not then possible as the manager was occupied 
in fitting up the toilet plant, experimenting, buying raw 
material, training the staff, getting business together, 
etc., so that actual manufacturing work was at first halt- 
ing. Sales of these soaps to the 31st March aggregated 
14 tons leaving about 33 tons in stock. Some of the 
Washwell soap in stock on 31st March 19 17 formed part 
of a parcel of 40 tons delivered to the Military autho- 
rities by June ; the rest of the stock of all soaps was 
readily sold out. Vegetol has obtained a great vogue 
and is sold as fast as it can be made, owing to its composi- 
tion, lathering qualities, etc. The milled toilet soap is 
also growing in favour. " Coaltar " soap is much in 
demand owing to its purity, cheapness and disinfectant 
qualities; considerable sales, with constant repeat orders, 
are being received, especially from the Military autho- 
rities, Red Cross Associations, and others. 

27. Glycerine. — As the recovery plant from England 
could not be obtained, though partly paid for and the 
order accepted, glycerine could not be properly dealt 
with, a serious misfortune since this article may easily 
enable us to sell soap at cost price and yet obtain a sub- 
stantial profit. Use was made of solar evaporation and 
with some success, a few hundred rupees worth of crude 
glycerine being now in hand, but the matter requires 
much further examination and better apparatus which 
will now be provided. 

28. His Excellency the Governor visited the fac- 
tory in October, but the toilet soap plant and other 
machines had not then been received. The Industrial 



175 

Commission visited the works in January. Opportunity 
was taken to exhibit side by side with our genuine soaps 
certain filled soaps from other countries, and soaps 
specially faked in our own factory, containing less than 
20 per cent of fatty acids instead of 60 or more as in our 
genuine soaps, yet in appearance, smell, etc., of a charac- 
ter which would entirely deceive ignorant purchasers ; it 
is perfectly easy to make soaps of fairly good appearance 
which are not soaps in the proper acceptation of the word 
and are not worth even the cheap price which might be 
put on them. 

29. Laboratoiy. — It was not found possible to form 
a laboratory on account of war disabilities, but small 
quantities of apparatus and re-agents were, by courtesy 
of the Indian Institute of Science, lent to us, and these 
have been of value. With a fairly good laboratory we 
could satisfactorily answer references made to us, as in 
the year, by business firms and others, deal with our 
daily problems in testing the oils and materials which 
we use, and, above all, test the adulterated oils and fats, 
incliiding ghee, now used as edibles, and the soaps now 
supplied to the public. 

30. Several applications, some well supported, for 
admission to the soap works as students were received ; 
but for the present it was impossible to accede to the 
requests as we are still in a very experimental stage, 
and, moreover, have no facilities for teaching. This must 
stand over for the present. There have been many 
visits, however, by the public such as bodies of students 
from the Agricultural and Forest Colleges at Coimba- 
tore ; from various Arts Colleges outside of the district, 
and from all local educational institutions includino" 
girls' schools. Various Government officials also visited 
the works, including the soap expert and an engineer 
from the Department of Industries, Mysore, who were 
permitted to spend several days taking drawino-s of 
the various items of plant, especially the toilet soap 
machines. 

31. The soap is readily saleable, and many applica- 
tions have been received for sole agencies, and even for 
our whole output. But I have, in general, adhered 
hitherto to the plan of selling direct to consumers, 
generally on the value-payable parcel system, for which 



176 

both the South Indian Railway and Madras and 
Southern Mahratta Railway have given concessional 
parcel rates. To regular firms and in larger parcels 
soap is sold on favourable terms, and the demand is now 
greater than the output which we are trying to increase. 
We have been gravely hampered by the absence of 
caustic soda, and have been forced to obtain a parcel of 
30 tons from America ; pending arrival we were enabled 
to carry on sparingly by a loan of two tons most courte- 
ously lent to us by Messrs. Binny & Co. from the 
Buckinorham Mills. 

32. Accounts. — Both as regards fisheries and soap 
works the accounts have been systematized. By the 
courtesy of Messrs. Binny & Co. and Messrs. Parry & 
Co., my office head clerk M.R.Ry. C. R. Natesa Pillai, 
who is a careful and experienced hand, was permitted to 
inspect their forms of accounts and to establish a good 
system ; for the soap works these have been improved 
by recruiting a book-keeper experienced in trading 
accounts ; these exhibit every detail, and the profit and 
loss accounts may therefore be relied on as business 
statements. As the accounts are now being profes- 
sionally audited in view not only to ascertain their 
correctness in form and fact, but also to obtain any 
suggestions for their improvement, a supplementary 
report* dealing with the financial position of the depart- 
ment and of its several branches, will be submitted 
shortly, in time for the usual review by Government. 

•Not reprinted in this Bulletin ; it may he perused in full in G.O. No. 2S5, 
Revenue, dated the 21st January 1918. 



177 



Order — No. 285, Revenue, dated 2Ist 
January 19 18. 



Miscellaneous. Recorded. 



2, Directoi' s branch. — The fishing season was on the 
whole more favourable than that of the preceding year. 
The outturn of the Beypore cannery more than doubled 
that of 1915-16. Several useful experiments were suc- 
cessfully carried out at the Tanur experimental station, 
one of the most noteworthy being the preservation of 
fish by freezing. The progress made in the manufacture 
of soap reflects credit on Mr. A. Kesava Menon ; the 
carefully prepared accounts of the soapery show that 
the factory is established on a sound footing in spite of 
the difficulties created by the war, in particular the 
impossibility of obtaining a plant for the separation of 
glycerine. 

3, Marine fisheries. — Owing to unfavourable weather 
and difficulties in obtaining divers, the number ofchanks 
fished fell much below the record of the previous year. 
The falling-off was particularly noticeable in the Tinne- 
velly, Ramnad and Sivaganga fisheries. The increase 
in prices realized, however, yielded a net profit (exclusive 
of supervision charges and taking into account the 
receipts up to 30th June 1917) of Rs. 52,700, a higher 
figure than any yet recorded. The Government have 
read with interest Mr. Hornell's account of the revived 
beche-de-mer industry and they hope that he will be 
able to expand its scope. The monographs compiled 
by Mr. Hornell in the course of the year are a welcome 
addition to the information alreadv slathered. The 
attention of the Sanitary Commissioner is invited to the 
possibilities of contamination of the oyster beds from 
which Madras City is supplied. 

4, Inland fisheries. — Good progress was made in the 
development of inland fisheries. Tank-stocking and 
conservancy have already resulted in increased rentals 
which are indirectly an index of the increase in food 
supply. A comprehensive scheme for the improvement 
of tank fisheries for the whole Presidency is in course 
of investigation. The effect of larvicidal species in 
reducing the incidence of malaria is difficult to gauge ; 



178 

the experiments are however being watched by the Sani- 
tary authorities. The success attained in hatching 
hilsa reflects credit on the Piscicultural Assistant 
Mr. B. Sundraraj. The successful importation of live 
gourami from Java is a noteworthy feature of the year's 
work. The department has suffered a regrettable loss 
in the untimely death of Mr. H. C. Wilson to whose 
experience and practical skill the Government owe the 
inception and successful execution of many schemes of 
utility. 

5. Sodo-econo7nic zvork. — The efforts made to improve 
the social and economic condition of the fisher-folk have 
not met with unqualified success, but valuable experience 
has been gained in dealing with this difficult problem 
and eleven new societies were formed by the end of 
June ; the work done by the Tellicherry Co-operative 
Society and the Jnanodaya Samaj promises well for 
future developments. The Government await the report 
of the Director of Public Instruction on the proposals 
formulated by the Honorary Director in his letter 
No. 565, dated 19th September 1917. 

6. Finance. — The Honorary Director has supple- 
mented his report with detailed statements of the 
receipts and charges in the several branches of the work 
of his department. The results are abstracted in the 
subjoined statement : — 

/. Director's branch. 





Expenditure. 


Receipts. 




Difference 






RS. A. P. 


RS. A. 


p. 


RS. A. 


p. 


(i) Beypore 


14,312 9 10 


19,902 2 


4 


5.589 8 


6 


cannery. 












(2) Tanur yard. 


5,167 14 


5.^15 II 


10 


747 13 


10 


(3) Soapery ... 


55,990 2 2 
75,170 ID 


57,759 13 


3 

5 


1,769 II 


I 


Total ... 


83.577 II 
fisheries. 


8,107 I 


5 




//, Marine 






(i) Chank and 


34,608 13 


8?,547 4 


4 


53.938 7 


4 


beche- 












de-mer 












fisheries 












up to 












30th June 












1917. 










- 



179 







//. 


Marine 


fisht 


:ries 


• — cont. 










Expenditure. 




Receipts. 


Difference. 








RS. A. 


p. 




RS. A. P. 


RS. A. P. 


(2) 


Pearl fishe- 
ries. 




... 






655 4 


655 4 


(3) 


Tutcorin 
fish farm. 




552 15 


8 




897 I 


344 I 4 


(4) 


Pulicat 
oyster 
farm. 

Total ... 




805 10 







459 9 6 


346 6 




3i 


5,967 6 


8 


90,55*^ 15 2 


54,591 8 6 



///. Inland fisheries. 

(i) Piscicultur- 10,446 12 9 148 i 3—10,298 11 6 

al works. 
(2) Tank-stock- 42,044 14 o 61,503 13 o 19,458 15 o 

ing. 



Total ... 52,491 10 9 61,651 14 3 9,160 3 6 



Grand total ...1,63,929 11 5 2,35,788 8 10 71,858 13 5 



To the charges must be added — 
(i) Establishment charges ... ... ... 81,612 9 9 

(2) Public Works Department charges ... ... 4,748 o o 

Thus the gross charges amounted to Rs, 2,50,290-5-2 
and, if the season receipts under chank fisheries up 
to the end of June 1917, as given by Mr. Hornell, be 
taken into account, the net cost of the department was 
Rs. 14,501-12-4. 

In view of the fact that most of the work done is 
purely experimental, the financial aspect of the work of 
the department is satisfactory. 

7. General. — The Government consider that the 
report of the Marine Biologist and that on the chank 
fisheries should in future be combined into a single 
' Report on Marine Fisheries.' In view of Mr. Hornell's 
remarks as to the duration of the chank season beyond 
31st March the Government direct that for the purposes 
of future reports the fisheries year will terminate on 
30th June. 



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