Bacterial counts made, over a period of 27 months, on skin, gut and gill samples of freshly caught skate and lemon sole, using sea water-based and tap water-based media in parallel, revealed a seasonal variation in the size of the bacterial populations on the fish throughout the year. Evidence is presented for the view that the occurrence of maximum bacterial populations on fish is correlated with plankton outbursts. Sea water-based medium was generally superior to a tap water-based medium for isolating bacteria from fish; the importance of this as evidence of a specific marine bacterial flora is discussed.


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