From the archive

50 Years Ago

There are signs that the size of the prawn harvest will in future depend less on the coldness of the winter. M. R. Reeve of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Fisheries Experiment Station in Conway, North Wales, has just reported success with laboratory cultures from eggs to adult prawns … The present dependence for breeding on wild stocks of the prawn, Palaemon serratus, is hazardous — for example, stocks are still only gradually recovering from the harsh effects of the cold winter of 1962–63. What is needed in Britain, and in other countries with similar sea farming problems, is a controlled supply of prawns for breeding, similar to the Japanese commercial organization for rearing prawns and shrimps. The work at Conway is just one of many attempts to culture crustacean sea food in many parts of the world. In this case prawns … were kept in tanks of seawater where berried females — those carrying eggs — hatched the young larvae.

100 Years Ago

The Times of August 18 contained an interesting article on the little owl as a danger to poultry and game. This bird was not originally a native of the British Isles, but was introduced into several parts of England in some numbers about a quarter of a century ago by several well-known ornithologists, who cannot have been aware of its harmful proclivities. Apart, however, from its vices, it is an attractive little bird. Since its introduction it has increased very rapidly, and is now widely distributed over England, and some have found their way into Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Wherever it has established itself it has become a pest to poultry-keepers and game-preservers owing to the havoc it makes among the chicks … Although the little owl’s record is, in the main, a black one … yet it must be admitted that it destroys large numbers of small rodents, such as field-voles, as well as beetles and other insects, and thus renders some service to the agriculturist.