National Geographic : 1906 Sep
524 THE NATIONAL GE But suppose we had free hides and free shoes; what would be the result? We should soon have millions of pairs of cheap shoes dumped on our market. The material being the same, the foreign manufacturer with his low-priced labor a labor costing one-half or one-third of ours--could close our factories or else OGRAPHIC MAGAZINE compel our laborers to work for starva tion wages. The purchasing power of the 200,000 persons now making shoes would be cut in half or disappear altogether, and so much of our home market would be lost to the farmer and other manufac turers. We have had just such experi ences, and it is far from guesswork. CULTIVATION OF MARINE AND FRESH WATER ANIMALS IN JAPAN* By K. MITSUKURI, PH. D. PROFESSOR OF ZOOLOGY, IMPERIAL UNIVERSITY, TOKYO, JAPAN W HIILE the pasturage of cattle and the cultivation of plants marked very early steps in man's advancement toward civilization, the raising of aquatic animals and plants, on any extensive scale at all events, seems to belong to much later stages of human development. In fact, the culti vation of some marine animals has been rendered possible only by utilizing the most recent discoveries and methods of science. I believe, however, the time is now fast approaching when the increase of population on the earth, and the ques tion of food supply which must arise as a necessary consequence, will compel us to pay most serious attention to the util ization for this purpose of what has been termed the "watery waste." For man to overfish and then to wait for the bounty of nature to replenish, or, failing that, to seek new fishing grounds, is,itseemstome,anacttobeputinthe same category with the doings of no madic peoples wandering from place to place in search of pastures. Hereafter, streams, rivers, lakes, and seas will have, so to speak, to be pushed to a more effi cient degree of cultivation and made to yield their utmost for us. It is perhaps superfluous for me to state this before an audience in America, for I think all candid persons will admit that the United States, with her Bureau of Fisheries, is leading other nations in bold scientific attempts in this direction. Japan, I need hardly remind you, con sists of an immense number of islands, large and small. In proportion to its area, which is nearly 60,000o square miles, its coast line is immense, being, roughly speaking, 20,000 miles. This is broken up into bays, estuaries, inlets, and straits of all sorts and shapes, with an unusually rich fauna of marine organ isms everywhere. In addition, the coun try is dotted with lakes and smaller bodies of fresh water. Put these natural conditions together with the facts that the population, in some districts at least, has been extremely dense, and that until within comparatively recent times hardly any animal flesh was taken as food, and even at the present day the principal food of the general mass of people consists of vegetables and fish-it would be strange indeed if the cultivation of some aquatic organisms had not developed under these circumstances. And such is actually the case. For instance, the oyster culture of * This article is abstracted from a paper read before the International Congress of Arts and Sciences, held at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St Louis, Mo., August 21-25, 1904, and published by the U. S. Bureau of Fisheries as a special monograph, 1906.