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Tales of the Fish Patrol - Jack London

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Tales of the Fish Patrol by Jack London

WHITE AND YELLOW



San Francisco Bay is so large that often its storms are more
disastrous to ocean-going craft than is the ocean itself in its
violent moments.  The waters of the bay contain all manner of fish,
wherefore its surface is ploughed by the keels of all manner of
fishing boats manned by all manner of fishermen.  To protect the
fish from this motley floating population many wise laws have been
passed, and there is a fish patrol to see that these laws are
enforced.  Exciting times are the lot of the fish patrol:  in its
history more than one dead patrolman has marked defeat, and more
often dead fishermen across their illegal nets have marked success.

Wildest among the fisher-folk may be accounted the Chinese shrimp-
catchers.  It is the habit of the shrimp to crawl along the bottom
in vast armies till it reaches fresh water, when it turns about and
crawls back again to the salt.  And where the tide ebbs and flows,
the Chinese sink great bag-nets to the bottom, with gaping mouths,
into which the shrimp crawls and from which it is transferred to
the boiling-pot.  This in itself would not be bad, were it not for
the small mesh of the nets, so small that the tiniest fishes,
little new-hatched things not a quarter of an inch long, cannot
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