National Geographic : 1916 Jun
THE "TILEFISH," LATELY INTRODUCED TO THE AMERICAN DINNER TABLE The tilefish first came to the attention of science in 1879. Three years later the Gulf Stream, with its warm water, drifted off of the continental shelf in tilefish territory, with the result that perhaps a billion and a half members of the species died, literal victims of a cold wave (see text, page 570). no jurisdiction over the oyster grounds, has done much to promote the industry. The assistance rendered has taken vari ous forms and has included studies of the oyster's life history, on the accurate knowledge of which protection and culti vation must depend; surveys of grounds on which oyster planting may be con ducted, thus increasing the output and at the same time affording a larger revenue to the States from the sale or lease of such grounds to prospective farmers; ex perimental and model planting opera tions, .often in regions where no oyster culture was previously conducted; rec ommendations for oyster legislation, and disinterested expert advice on the various problems that arise in the administration and practical conduct of the oyster in dustry. ALASKA'S ENORMOUS FISHERY WEALTH The salmon resources of the Pacific States are among the natural wonders of the Western Hemisphere, but they now take rank after those of Alaska, whose fisheries as a whole have experienced their remarkable development and at tained their present surpassing impor tance chiefly because of the salmons. Since Alaska became a part of the na tional domain, the total value of the products taken from the waters of the territory up to the present year has been nearly $300,000,000; the fishery reached its climax in 1915, with a value of $21, ooo,ooo, which is three times the pur chase price of Alaska. Included in the foregoing aggregate are the very consid erable sums accruing from the fur seal; but the bulk of the output represents the salmons, with cod, halibut, and herring completing the list of important fishes. The halibut fishery of Alaska is far more productive than the halibut fishery of the Atlantic coast ever was, even in its palmy days; and it, with the fisheries for cod and herring, is capable of much fur ther development. The weight of the salmons taken in Alaska in 1915 was about 400,000,000 pounds. If this catch could have been placed in barrels holding 200 pounds each and the barrels piled end on end, the height of the column would have been about 1,200 miles! Or if the catch had been loaded into ordinary freight cars, a train of 10,000 cars would have been re quired and the length of the train would have exceeded 1oo miles!