Categories: Books Sea Fishing NZ

Big Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand by Arthur W. Parrott

Big Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand by Arthur W. Parrott

Published by Hodder and Stoughton Limited, London. First published in 1958. Size: 210mm x 145mm. 127pp total. Including black and white photographs (8 pages) and line art illustrations for 67 fish species. Hardcover with colour dust jacket.
Big Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand by Arthur W. Parrott

Arthur W. Parrott wrote four books on Fishes. The first was Sea Anglers’ Fishes of New Zealand 1957, Big Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand 1958, Sea Anglers’ Fishes of Australia 1959, The Queer and Rare Fishes of New Zealand 1960.

Though dated, these books are still very interesting to read. Parrott was a contemporary of David H. Graham, a scientific observer and investigator who did considerable research on the subject of New Zealand marine fishes operating from the Portobello Marine Research Station in Otago Harbour. Parrott mentions Graham in his books though I am unaware if they corresponded. 

From the dust jacket, “Its main purposes are to supply the formation that will enable the average person who has no specialised knowledge of fishes to identify correctly the larger Game Fishes and Sharks of New Zealand and to give briefly some general information on their habits, life-histories and distribution.

There is a full description of the characteristics of each species, as well as keys for identification within the various families, and statistics of record catches are given. Not only will this book be essential to the amateur fisherman in New Zealand, but it will also be valuable to all who are interested in fishes, and in Natural History generally.”

“This is a reliable guide to the fish which are of greatest interest to the sea angler and the underwater hunter. No fewer than fifty-six different kinds are included and each is accompanied by a good illustration. There is an introductory section which explains how standard measurements are taken and also a glossary of scientific terms. The book is not intended for the ichthyologist, but it provides the angler with just the details he needs on the identification and general biology of each species.” The Times Literary Supplement.

“Such is the skill in exposition of the author, one reads on with great enjoyment about the many spectacular fish which inhabit the waters around New Zealand.“ The Sphere.

“This reliable, popular guide is admirably suited to the needs of the ordinary person.” The Times Educational Supplement.

“The sea angler will have no dificulty in identifying a fish unknown to him from the illustrations and descriptions in this interesting and authoritative guide.” The Christchurch Star-Sun.

“This well-written and generously illustrated ‘book will prove invaluable.” Sheffield Telegraph.

Arthur W Parrott was educated at Christ’s College and Canterbury University College, Christchurch, New Zealand. ln 1928 he was appointed by the North Canterbury Acclimatization Society to investigate the food and growth of trout in Canterbury rivers and lakes.

In 1930 he was appointed Biologist t0 the then newly-formed New Zealand Freshwater Research Committee. Joining the armed forces in 1939 he served in Egypt and on his return to New Zealand in 1943 he was invalided out of the army.

After his discharge, he was appointed Biologist to the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, where he worked mainly on the classification and identification of New Zealand fishes and spiders. ln 1948 he was appointed Curator of Insects at the Cawthron Institute, Nelson, New Zealand. Since 1953, although living in New Zealand, he has been specialising in the classification and identification of parasitic wasps for a number of Commonwealth and State Departments and Museums in Australia. 

Mr Parrott has published over thirty-five scientific papers, mainly on fishes, spiders and parasitic
wasps. He has written many popular articles and has given broadcasts on various subjects, mainly concerned with Natural History.

This post was last modified on 04/02/2019 12:14 am

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