Excerpt from Report to the Government of Ceylon on the Pearl Oyster Fisheries of the Gulf of Manaar, 1903, Vol. 1: With Supplementary Reports Upon the Marine Biology of Ceylon, by Other Naturalists
AN introduction explaining brieﬂy the past history Of the Pearl Banks in the Gulf of Manaar and the circumstances which led to my Ceylon Expedition, and the subsequent work to which it gave rise, is followed by a section, entitled narrative, which deals with the course Of the investigations undertaken by Mr. Hornell and myself, given in chronological order. The Observing stations where the fauna was investigated around the Coast of Ceylon are described in detail in the Narrative but those other investigations - such the anatomy Of the Pearl Oyster, a description Of its parasitic worms, and an account Of its pearl-formation - which will be dealt with separately in special articles later on, are not treated fully in this section. After the Narrative comes a Description Of the physical condition of the pearl-oyster banks or paars of the Gulf of Manaar, followed by their classification from the fisheries point of View, and by a short discussion as to the causes of certain paars being unreliable, and of the serious mortality of the oysters. Then comes a section dealing with the Observations and Experiments made by Mr. Hornell and myself on the life-history and habits of the pearl oyster, which form the basis of some of our recommendations as to the cultivation Of the oyster banks.
This general part is then followed by the Supplementary or Special Reports, which various scientific friends have kindly undertaken to write upon their special groups or subjects. I feel that these articles by experts add very greatly to the completeness and value Of this Report, which without them could only have given a very imperfect account Of the fauna and flora of the Gulf of Manaar and Of the other natural conditions of existence surrounding and inﬂuencing the pearl oyster on the various paars.
Of these special Reports, seven are published in the present Part I. The first of these is on the Geology 01 the Sea-bottom, by Mr. Joseph lomas, it deals with the very fundamental question of what the paar is, how the hard, cemented material usually known (and marked on the charts) as rock, which by its presence enables the pearl oysters to live there, comes to be formed.
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