CEYLON PEARL FISHERIES.
of the crystals
as compared with the diamond, it is difficult to believe in this
theory. The hardness is intermediate between that of gypsum and that of
calcite. Some of the crystals sink in water and others float. The
discovery is of considerable scientific interest, but as yet of no
commercial or industrial value. All previous researches favor the idea
that the diamonds are of vegetable origin, and that the transformation
of the carbon takes place in the soil where the diamonds are found.
This, however, is not an explanation, as it merely indicates the
direction in which one may be looked for. Crystals, as a rule, are not
formed or modified from or by materials in the solid state, and it is
reasonable to suppose that there must be some intermediate liquid or
plastic form of carbon which has not yet been found. The existence of
organic remains imbedded in the diamond renders it improbable that heat
has been an active agent in its production. It does not follow,'
however, that diamonds may not be capable of formation in many ways.
All that can be said is that those dug out of the earth are not the
products of h«at. It can scarcely be said that there is any theory at
all of the mode of their production.
THE CEYLON PEARL FISHERY OF 1881.
Natural Pearls Fishery of 1881 was one of the most successful, as the result
shews, of any held for a great many years back. The net receipts (£59,868)
have not been equalled since 1814. This was very much due to unusually
fine weather, and the very good prices offered for the oysters. Much is
also due to Capt. Donnan's and Mr. Twynam's admirable management of the
Fishery, and we think some special acknowledgment ought to be made of
their valuable services, Capt. Phipps, Master Attendant and
Superintendent of Fisheries at Tuticortn, receives from the Indian
authorities, one percent of the results of any Natural Pearls Oyster Fishery he
may direct. Seeing that this year the divers had an increased
allowance—another cause probably of the success of the Fishery—we think
Capt. - Donnan ought also to have special acknowledgment, and no one in
the Colony would grudge a bonus of Ra,ooo, which would be less than
half of the Inditn allowance.
regret to say that there is no prospect of a Fishery for next year.
There is no supply of oysters ready, and the prospects of the future
will be determined in March next when a regular inspection of the coast
from Chilaw to Mannar will be made.
will be observed that considerable gaps—intervals with no fisheries-are
experienced. But this was equally the case in the time of the Dutch,
who from 1732 to 1746 had no fishery, nor again from 1768 to 1796.
Within the British era of 68 years, no less than 50 years are blanks so
far as PearlFishery receipts are concerned. But during the remaining
36, the net return in hard cash has aggregated over a million pounds
sterling to the Colonial revenue. The usual mode of dividing the epochs
of Fisheries is as