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Deep-Sea Challenge, the John Murray/Mabahiss Expedition to the Indian Ocean, 1933-34.

"Deep-Sea Challenge, the John Murray/Mabahiss Expedition to the indian Ocean, 1933-34" edited by A. L. Rice, has been published by the Unesco Press, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris. The scientific results were published by the British Museum (Natural History) between 1935 and 1967 and form a rather impressive record. And, editor Rice concludes that the John Murray/ Mabahiss Expedition was a significant one, pointing out that it had considerable "political" implications in Egypt, and that the importance of the scientific results has become apparent only in retrospect.

First, the editor discusses the John Murray bequest for the expedition and the organization of it. That is followed by the lengthy and interesting narrative of the day-by-day operation of the expedition as prepared by Lt.-Col. R. B. Seymour Sewell the expedition's chief scientists-the lengthiest part and the "meat" of the book.

This, based on Sewell's final bound copy of his narrative, reports that the vessel departed on 3 Sept. 1933 to begin the expedition, and returned nearly 9 months later after working 209 scientific stations and amassing data and preserved materials which were utilized in the lengthy series of scientific reports published over the next 30+ years.

In Part 3 are presented biographical notes on the principal participants, including Sewell, Rice, K. N. MacKenzie (captain), W. I. Farquharson (navigator and second in command), E. F. Thompson (senior chemist), H. Fauzi, A. F. Mohamed, H. C. Gilson, T. T. Macan, and four Egyptian officers. Rice then presents the story of the ship Mabahiss, herself, and then he and G. E. R. Deason discuss the significance of the expedition. John Murray, who wrote 1,600 pages of the Challenger reports and coauthored a like amount, had set up a bequest 20 years earlier that financed the entire expedition.

Clearly, the volume will provide fascinating reading for those interested in the history of marine research and should even provide some interesting insights for others who also spend time at sea in pursuit of truths. Hardbound, the 336-page volume is available in the United States from Bernan-Unipub, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391 for $39.00 plus postage.
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Publication:Marine Fisheries Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 22, 1988
Previous Article:Developments in Fisheries Research in Scotland.
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