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Preserving Fishes

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Chapter Summary

Sometimes it may be desirable to preserve fish specimens, particularly if identification by a specialist is required. The recommended method of preservation is the same as that used by museum biologists. The preserving solution is made by diluting one part of full-strength formalin with nine parts of water. For long-term storage it is best to transfer the specimen to a 70 per cent solution of ethyl alcohol after the fish is fixed in formalin. Anyone sending specimens to a museum or other institution should first contact appropriate staff for detailed instructions on packing and shipping. Freezing is another option, which avoids messy chemicals and is a good short-term storage, particularly if the specimen can be hand-delivered to local authorities.

Keywords:formalin; museum biologists; preserving fish specimens

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