6 Collecting and Preserving Fishes: a Historical Perspective

In: Naturalists in the Field
Author: Peter Davis


A variety of techniques have been used in collecting fishes for scientific purposes; most of these proved relatively successful, and despite the difficulties of travel and disease faced by early collectors, fishes formed a main component of many early collections. They were incorporated into well-known institutions throughout Europe and North America, and remain a major resource for today’s taxonomists. However, it was the limited preservation and labelling techniques available to early collectors that had such a major impact on the survival of the collections made in the field by naturalists. The problems faced by several well-known fish collectors, including Peter Forsskål, Joseph Banks, George Vachell, Francis Day and George Johnston – and the fate of the collections they made – are described.

Naturalists in the Field

Collecting, Recording and Preserving the Natural World from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-First Century



All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 219 94 15
Full Text Views 94 3 0
PDF Downloads 38 4 0