Fish books. Books on fishes.Books on fishkeeping



MEDITERRANEAN FISHES by G.H. Jennings 68 pages, £M2, Calypso Publications,  (Currently the fourth Edition contains over 200 illustrations and 250 pages)

 Reproduced from the Times of Malta

Descriptions are not the main method or recognition, in fact many of the fish are only listed with name and size, and no other supporting material. Where applicable, English names are given. Some general information is given with the families con­cerned; and the most attention has been given to the Blennies and Wrasses, which are difficult for anyone. The title is. rather ambitious, but a short work like this can be nothing but a guide, as is stated by its author. Since this work is a tool for identification, it is actually a type of key based on various tables and symbols, supported by the small diagrams. It is a use­ful booklet to have, but as the author says that information is restricted, and offers a short bib­liography for further reading. Considering the difficulties to treat a vast subject in a small space, the booklet is appreciated, and its limitations are sincerely admitted, by its author.

What may mar the general impression, is not the book itself, but the brochure issued to publi­cise it, as this gives some false impressions, about the work. The brochure says "nine colour plates", but there are no plates, but on the cover there are nine fish; printed in colour. Also "hundreds of line illustrations", but there are only less than 200 small outline line drawings, most of which are between 3 to 4 cm. long, not more, many less, presumably to economise on space for a concise work, The brochure also asserts that it is "the first fully illustrated pocket-sized book on Mediterranean fish in English", ignoring the existence of that on Maltese fish, listed in the bibliography, which is also on Central Mediterranean fish, in English, illustrated, and poc­ket sized as the present work. Brochures are after all advertis­ing material, and should not be confused with the actual book under review.


Personally I appreciate it, and one can feel Malta all over it, in the acknowledgements, bibliog­raphy, photographs, and the fact that Mr. Jennings based his studies of marine fish mainly; on those of Maltese waters. It is hoped that the author would some day use his expertise for a work on Blennies or Wrasses, which are a headache for Mediterranean ichthyologists.

(Guido Lanfranco)




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