Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
467 of 1105



FISHERIES. Definition of the term Fishery. To the term fishery must necessarily be granted a wider significance than its derivation seems to permit. By universal consent and usage the industries connected with the capture of whales, turtles, corals and sponges are called fisheries, as well as those which are connected solely with animals grouped by zoölogists with the class of fishes. The exploitation of the products of sea, lake and river constitutes an industry distinct from all others, with methods peculiar to itself. carried on by a class of operatives, appropriately enough called "fishermen," and which can not well be described otherwise than as "the fisheries," or better, "the fishery industry." Inappropriate as, at first thought, it may appear to designate as fisheries the pursuit of seals upon dry land, with clubs and guns, or the dredging of oysters and corals from the decks of steamers, the seeming incongruity disappears when we take into consideration the similarity of method between these industries and other, such as the swordfish fishery and the trawl-net fishery of the German ocean. The most comprehensive interpretation of the term is sanctioned by the usages of the Berlin and London fishery exhibitions, and by that of the tenth census of the United States.


—THE OBJECTS OF THE FISHERY INDUSTRY. In discussing the various kinds of animals, plants and other objects, which are the objects toward which the activity of the fishery industries is directed, it seems most convenient to follow the order of scientific classification.


Seals, or Pinnipeds. The pinnipeds are divided into three families: the walruses, the eared seals (Otariidæ), and the common seals. The walruses are found only in Arctic seas, and the Atlantic species, formerly ranging down our coast as far as Cape Sable, N. S., is now restricted in American waters to Hudson bay, Davis straits and Greenland. The Pacific walrus still occurs in great numbers in Alaska and northern Siberia, where it is hunted by American whalemen. In 1877 it was estimated that in the preceding ten years at least 120,000 of these animals had been killed by white men in the Arctic ocean and Behring sea, producing about 50,000 barrels of oil and 400,000 to 500,000 pounds of ivory. A considerable number are killed by European whalemen in the North Atlantic, and the Esquimaux of the entire Arctic zone depend largely upon this animal for food, and leather and ivory for manufacturing purposes. The eared seals are of two kinds: the sea lions and the fur seals. The former are used chiefly by the Esquimaux and Indians for food and leather. The latter are the most important of fur-bearing animals. Their skins, when plucked and dyed, command a price of $50 to $80. The most important fur-seal industry is on the Prybilov islands of Alaska, where 100,000 pelts are annually taken by the Alaska commercial company, in accordance with the terms of lease from the United States. Large quantities are also obtained from the Siberian coast, from the islands around Cape Horn, and in the Antarctic ocean. The common seals, of which there are several species on our coast, are valuable chiefly for their skins and oil. The United States does not engage in their capture. There are extensive sealing grounds in West Greenland, where about 90,000 are annually taken by the natives; about Newfoundland, yielding in 1873, 526,000; by Englishmen, and other European seal hunters in the Jan Mayen or Greenland seas, yielding in 1868, at least 250,000; in the White sea, yielding about 100,000; in the Caspian sea, yielding about 130,000. The total annual capture of common seals can not fall far below 1,000,000 individuals, yielding oil to the value of $1,250,000, besides the skins. An immense animal of this group is the sea elephant, (Macrorhinus leoninus), now found chiefly in the Atlantic ocean, though formerly abundant on the west coast of the American continent from California southward. These animals reach the length of eighteen or twenty feet, and one of them yields from 150 to 200 gallons of oil. For more than a hundred years several vessels from New London, Connecticut—formerly also from Sag Harbor and Stonington—have yearly penetrated the ice of the Antarctic ocean to capture these animals at Heard's island and elsewhere. There was formerly an extensive capture of sea elephants on the Californian coast. For a full account of the pinnipeds, and their capture, see J. A. Allen's Monograph of North American Pinnipeds, Washington, 1880, and H. W. Elliott's Monograph of the Seal Islands, a part of the Fishery Census Report, printed in advance.


Cetaceans. There are two principal groups of cetaceans: those with teeth and with a single blow-hole, the sperm whale, porpoises, etc., and those with two blow-holes, which have the teeth replaced by a sieve-like mass of flexible laminæ—the whalebone of commerce—the right whales, bowheads, finbacks, sulphur-bottoms, etc. The sperm whale, pottfisch, or cachalot. (Physeter macrocephalus), occurs in every ocean, and though preferring warm waters, sometimes approaches close to the Arctic circle. It is one of the most important of cetaceans, yielding large quantities of common oil and a specially fine quality of oil called sperm oil, which, together with spermaceti, is found in the cavities of the ponderous head. Ambergris is a product of the intestines of diseased cachalots. Porpoises, dolphins and blackfish, which are pigmy sperm whales, occur the world over in the open ocean and near the shore. Fifteen kinds have already been discovered in the waters of the United States, the most common of which are the "snuffing pigs," or harbor propoises. (Phocæna brachycion on the east coast, P tomerina on the west), the skunk—or bay—porpoises, (Lagenorhynchus perspicillatus, cast, L. obliquidens, west), and the black-fish, the "caing whale," of Scotland, (Olobicephalus intermedius, east, G. scammoni, west). These are valuable for their oil, particularly that of the heads, which is the porpoise-jaw oil, used in preference to all others by watchmakers and machinists. These animals, particularly the lumbering blackfish, often run ashore in schools of hundreds on certain portions of our coast, a valuable windfall for the inhabitants. The white whale, (Delphinapterus catodon), occurs both in Alaska and on the North Atlantic coast, and is prized both for its fine oil and for its skin which makes the valuable porpoise leather used for mail bags, military accoutrements, etc. The right, or whale-bone whales, are represented in our waters by a number of species. The humpbacks, scrags, sulphur-bottoms and finbacks are large, shy species, much trouble to kill, but yielding fair quantities of common or body oil, though their whalebone is so short as to be of little commercial value. the right whale, and the bowhead, (Balæna mysticetus), are sought chiefly in Arctic seas, the lalttler among the icebergs of the extreme north. The longest slabs of whalebone from an adult bowhead measure from fourteen to seventeen feet. (For details see C. M. Scammon's Marine Mammals of the Northwest Coast and American Whalefishery; San Francisco, 1874.)


Tortoises. The most important of this group to the United States is the diamond back terrapin, (Malacoclemmys palustris), which occurs in our seaside marshes from Cape Cod to the gulf of Mexico. It is highly esteemed by epicures, and is an important article of commerce. The green turtle. (Chelonia mydas), is a standard article of food, and many hundreds are taken annually at Key West, and in the inlets of Florida and the Carolinas. It affords turtle soup, a standard article of food in the cities of Europe and America. The eggs of this and other sea turties yield a fine oil, which is an article of commerce in South America. The "turtle oil soap" of our markets is, however, made from other substances. The hawkabill turtle, (Eretmochelys imbricata), is a marine species which yields the tortoise shell of commerce. The largest quantities are obtained from the east, the European and Chinese markets being supplied chiefly from Singapore, Manila and Batavia at the rate of 26,000 to 30,000 pounds annually. In 1870 it was imported into Great Britain to the value of $150,000, and from the following countries: Holland, Philippine islands, British India, Straits Settlement, Australia, New Granada, Honduras, West Indies. France, in 1876, imported tortoise shell to the value of $418,000. Certain pond and river turtles are eaten in the United States, and the land turtle, or gopher, (Xerobates carolinus), is one of the chief resources for meat of the negroes of Florida.


—FISHES. The Cod Family. The most important family of fishes, from an economical point of view, is undoubtedly that of the codfishes, which occurs everywhere in the Arctic and temperate waters of the northern hemisphere. The codfish,(Gadus morthua; Swedish, torsk; Norwegian, skrei; German, dorsch, and kablian; Dutch, kabeljau; French, morue, etc.), is found in the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans, from Greenland and Spitzbergen on the north to Virginia and the bay of Biscay. In the Pacific it ranges south to the straits of Fuca on the east, while its limits on the Asiatic coast are not yet known. Everywhere it is the object of extensive fisheries along the shore, and there are important bank fisheries on the banks of Newfoundland, and the other banks along the coast of North America, off the Lofoden islands of Norway, on the shoals in the German ocean, and off the coasts of Ireland and Iceland; in the Pacific, on the banks near the Chumagin islands, and on the Asiatic side. The flesh of the cod is hard, of excellent flavor, is dried with little trouble, so that it may be kept for a long time, and on this account is an important article of commerce, supplying a cheap and nutritious article of food. The oil of the liver is abundant, and useful in the arts as well as in medicine; the roes, salted, form an important article of bait, used in the European sardine fisheries; the swim-bladders form the basis for a fine grade of isinglass, and the skins and tins are made into most useful glues and cements. The other species of the family are useful in similar ways, though the cod is superior to all except in the matter of furnishing material for isinglass and glue, in which it is excelled by the hakes. The roes of the pollock are large, and are by some preferred for bait. The haddock, (Melanogrammus æglefinus), is found in company with the cod in the north Atlantic, though not so widely distributed wither to the north or south. It is highly prized for consumption in a fresh state, though rarely dried. It is a favorite fish for boiling in Europe and in New England, where also it is recognized to be without a rival as a foundation for chowder. The pollock, (Pollachius carbonarius), occurs only in the North Atlantic, its range corresponding closely to that of the haddock, though somewhat more northerly. On account of its darker flesh it is not so highly esteemed as the cod, either fresh or in a dried condition, though many experts believe it to surpass the cod in sweetness and sapidity. The pollock is represented on the west coast of North America by a closely allied species (Pollachius chaleogrammus), which possesses all the economic qualifications of its Atlantic relative. The hakes, (phycis, various species), occur in the Atlantic, over much the same area as the two last-mentioned species, and are captured in large quantities. Next to the cod they are most in demand for salting and drying, their flesh being nearly as while as that of the cod, though of somewhat inferior flavor. When their long ventral fins or "beards" are removed, the uninitiated are unable to distinguish them from cod, and since the introduction of the practice of putting up "boneless fish," cut in strips and packed in boxes, two of the greatest obstacles to the sale of hake under the name of codfish have disappeared. It is but fair to say that conscientious dealers brand their packages with the words "boneless fish," not "boneless codfish," but to the majority of buyers the words have the same significance. The air-bladders of the hakes are large, and immense quantities are used in the manufacture of isinglass. The cusk, (Brosmius brosme), found on ledges and under rocks in localities in the North Atlantic where hake occur, and particularly in Europe, is highly prized as a fish for botling. the ling, (Molva vulgaris), occurs only along the shores of northern Europe, where in is caught with cod and applied to similar uses. There are also several other members of this family, such as the whiting, (Gadus merlangus), of northern Europe, the coal fish, (Pollachius vireus), of northern Europe, and the tomcods, or frost fish, of North America, (Gadus tomcodus of the Atlantic, and Gadus proximus of the Pacific), which have much local importance. The burbot or eel pout, (Lota vulgaris), distributed through the fresh waters of norhtern America. Europe and Asia, is highly esteemed as a food fish on the other side of the Atlantic.


The Herring Family. The herring family is perhaps of wider importance to mankind than that of the cods, since its representatives are found in every portion of the globe, within the tropics as well as under the Arctic circle, and everywhere constitute an important food resource. They usually congregate in schools, not far from the surface, and are easily caught, particularly at the period of spawning when they assemble in shallow water in closely crowded masses. Two groups, with distinct habits, are found within the family, many species remaining constantly at sea, and spawning on the shallows near the shore, others ascending the rivers in the spring and early summer to deposit their eggs upon the flats—but slightly covered with water—near the sources of the streams in their tributaries. The latter, or anadromous class, give occasion for extensive river fisheries in many parts of the earth, for there are few large rivers in temperate or subtropical regions which have not an abundance of one or more species of the herring family. A well-known example of the latter class is our shad, (Clupea sapidissima), abundant in the rivers of eastern North America, from the St. Johns in Florida to the St. Lawrence, and of late years introduced by artificial processes into the Mississippi and its tributaries. Accompanying the shad are three related species, the spring or branch herring; the alewife of New England rivers, (Clupea vernalis; the glut herring, or blue back, (Clupea antivalis), and the tailor herring or mattawocca, (Clupea mediocris), all of which are of large economic value. Europe has no river fish comparable to the shad, although there are two somewhat similar species in the rivers; one of which, the allice shad, or maifisch of Germany, (Clupea alosa), is sometimes held up as its rival. This fish and the twaite shad, or finte, (Clupea finta), are far inferior in size and flavor to their counterparts on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and are not sufficiently abundant to possess commercial importance. Several attempts have been made to introduce our shad into Europe, and it can not be doubted that by the ingenuity of our fish-culturists this difficult task will yet be accomplished. A fish similar to the shad is said to give occasion for important fisheries in the Yang-tse-kiang and other rivers in China. Of the group confined to the sea, the herring, (Clupea harengus), is the most prominent example, and gives rise to extensive fisheries from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Germany, and Holland. This fish, like the others of the tribe, but pre-eminently among them, is well suited for pickling and smoking, and, thus prepared, is one of the chief food resources of northern Europe. The young of this species is the celebrated "whitebait" ot England, which has of late years been introduced to notice in this country by Blackford, the great fish factor of Fulton market, New York. Within five years numerous establishments for canning young herrings have sprung up in Maine, and "American sardines" are now put up to the amount of nearly $2,000,000 every year. The true sardine of Europe (Clupea pilchardus) has for half a century been the basis of an extensive canning industry in southwestern Europe, and has recently been prepared in canneries on the south coast of England. The young herrings, so immensely abundant, will doubtless soon be utilized in the establishment of a sardine industry in Norway and Sweden, where they are fabulously abundant. On our west coast occur the California herring, (Clupea mirabilis), and the California sardine, (Clupea sagax), which are similar fishes, whose value will doubtless be greater in the future. One of the most important fishes of the United States is the menhaden, or mossbunder, (Brevoortia tyrannus), about 900,000,000 of which are taken annually, to be made into oil and guano. The menhaden fishery, which is on e of the most extensive and remarkable in the world, is carried on chiefly by steamers. Menhaden occur on the west coast of Africa, where, very possibly, an extensive fishery will, in the future, be inaugurated. (For details see Goode's History of the American Menhaden, in Report of U. S. Fish Commission, Part V.) The oil sardine, (Clupea scombrina), of the eastern coast of the Indian peninsula, and the trubu of the Malays, (Clupea toli), are valuable Asiatic species. The latter is extensively captured on the coast of Sumatra for the sake of its roes, which are salted and exported to China. There are many valuable species of this family in the warmer regions of the earth, where, on account of the case of capture they are important articles of local consumption. Certain tropical species are believed with good reason to be poisonous, causing a dangerous sickness (called by the Spaniards of Cuba "ciguatera.") to those who eat them.


The Makerel Family. The common mackerel, (Scomber acombrus), is one of the most important food fishes of the northern Atlantic, being extensively taken for consumption in a fresh state, by the fishermen of northern Europe, and, in New England and Canada, giving occasion for one of the most important commercial fisheries in the world; pickled herring which have been alluded to as of such importance in the food supply of Europe. The mackerel, like the herring, congregate together in great schools, and are taken, a hundred barrels or more at a time, in the American purse seine. The methods of capture now employed in Europe correspond to those abandoned on this side of the Atlantic half a century ago. Species closely related to the common mackerel are abundant on the coast of California, in Japan, about New Zealand and Australia, and at the cape of Good Hope, everywhere giving rise to fisheries. There are not many other widely important fishes in this family, though all temperate and tropical seas have three or four or more representatives of the family of considerable local importance; particularly is this the case on the east coast of the United States, where occur in greater or less abundance at least twenty-five members of this and the closely related group of Carangidæ, which are marketable, some of which are recognized to be among the choicest food fishes in the world. The pompanoes, (Trachynotus carolinus and allied species), are very highly esteemed, selling at retail in the markets of the large coast cities for fifty cents to $1.50 per pound; these epicurean treasures are taken chiefly south of New York. The Spanish mackerel. (Cybium maculatum), is almost as valuable as the pompano, and is captured in much larger quantities, from Cape Cod southward, especially in the Chesapeake bay, and on the coast of New Jersey. This fish has been successfully propagated by the United States fish commission, and extensive operations in its culture are in contemplation. The tunny, or horse-mackerel, (Oreynus thynnus), is the subject of an extensive fishery in the straits of Messina, and elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Though the number of individuals taken is small, their immense bulk—for their average weight is from 500 to 1,200 pounds—renders the aggregate result of the fishery quite important. This fish is abundant on the coast of New England, but is not at all valued. Large numbers of them are killed annually in the nets and pounds, where they inflict much damage upon the property of the fishermen, but their carcasses are allowed to fall to pieces on the beaches. The various species of albacore and bonito, harpooned so frequently at sea, belong to this family, and many valuable food fishes, such as our crevallé and amber fish, which are collectively of considerable importance to man. Closely allied to the mackerels are the Stromateidæ, the harvest fishes and butter fishes, which are of considerable importance on the Atlantic coast of the United States. The butter fish, (Poronotus triacanthus), the starfish of Norfolk and vicinity, is a favorite in the many seaport towns, and the harvest fish, (Peprilus paru), is in large demand at Norfolk and other southern markets.


The Salmon Family. The salmons, trouts, chars, graylings and white-fishes are of great importance to the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere, one or more representatives of the group being found in almost every lake, brook or river. These fishes are sedentary in inland waters, except the true salmons, many of which spend a considerable portion of the time between birth and maturity in the estuaries of the rivers in which they were hatched, or at sea, the adults invariably ascending to the headwaters of their rivers when the season of reproduction approaches. The best known of the tribe is the Atlantic salmon, (Salmo salar), once abundant in the rivers of Europe south to France and Portugal, and in those of the United States to the Connecticut, and probably even to the Housatonic and Hudson, now nearly exterminated except in the few streams where stringent protective laws have been enforced. (For details of this and other game fishes see Goode's Game Fishes of North America; New York, Scribner's, 1880-81.) The most important from an economical standpoint is the California, or quinnat salmon, (Oncorhynchus chouicha), which is canned in California, Oregon and Washington, and shipped to all quarters of the globe. California has several other very important species of sea and river salmon, notably the dog salmon, (O. keta); the humpback, (O. gorbuscha); the coho (O. Kisutch), and the nerka (O. nerka). Japan and Siberia have also extensive and valuable salmon fisheries. The chars and lake trouts, though not ordinarily captured by the wholesale, are of much importance, affording food in large quantities, and sport of the most attractive kind. The American lake trout, or Mackinaw trout, (Salvdinus namaycush), is the largest perhaps of this group. The brook trout of eastern North America, (Salvelinus fontinalis), is a prime favorite of angiers. Northern Europe possesses several species of chars, related to our brook trout, prominent among which are the sailbling, (S. salvelinus), and the "ombre chevalier" of the Swiss lakes. The oquassa, or blue-backed trout, (S. oquassa), of the lakes of Maine, is a noteworthy American form. The Dannbe salmon, or huchen, (S. huchu), is also a member of this group. The smelt, (Osmerus mordax), comes in winter from the sea to spawn in the streams from New Jersey to Labrador, and immense quantities of them are shipped to market, packed in ice and snow. It is esteemed a great delicacy. The allied species of Europe, the smelt, or stinte, (O. eperlanus), has a flavor equally fine, but is little prized, chiefly because the fish dealers of Europe do not ordinarily take pains to keep their fish fresh and hard. The surf smelt, (Hypomesus olidus), is an important fish upon the northwest coast of America, as is also the oulachan, or candle fish, (Thaleichthys pacificus), which affords a large quantity of sweet, limpid oil, now being introduced as a substitute for cod liver oil. The capelin (Mallotus tillosus), the lödde of Norway, occurs in immense quantities in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, where it is a favorite food of the codfish. Coming near the shore to spawn in the spring, they give occasion for the extensive spring codfisheries of Labrador. Newfoundland and Finmark. As a bait fish for cod they are, at this season, of great importance. Whitefish of various species, one of the best known being the common lake whitefish, (Coregonus albus), occur in the great lakes of North America, where they give rise to important commercial fisheries, and in other lakes of the new and old world. The gwyniad, the vendace and the pollan of Great Britain, and the madue maræna, schnäpel and felchen of Germany, are well known. The whitefish are delicious in flavour, and are well adapted for transportation in a fresh state as well as for pickling and smoking. They are propagated artificially with much success both in this country and in Europe. The grayling, (Thymallus, various species), are very beautiful and graceful, and therefore celebrated in angling literature. The grayling of the United States, inhabiting Michigan, Wisconsin and Montana, was discovered first about 1867, and has of late years been much discussed. The four families which are of the greatest importance to man, namely the gadoids, cluperiods, scombroids, and salmonoids, having been discussed somewhat at length, it remains to notice briefly the other groups which are of considerable commercial importance. Many families, well worthy of notice, must necessarily be omitted in an essay so much abridged as the preset.


The Flatfish and Sole Families. The fishes of this groups are of world-wide distribution, and in temperate seas are everywhere of importance as source of food. The largest of the groups is the halibut, (Hippoglossus culgaris), distributed throughout the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans, ranging on the North American coast south to Long Island on the east, and the Farallone islands on the west; while on that of Europe its range is limited by the parallel of 50° north latitude. Its capture in the eastern Atlantic is somewhat casual, but the fisherman of New England carry on extensive halibut fisheries on the offshore banks and in Davis straits; in the stormiest months of winter, as well as in summer, they set their lines hundreds of miles from shore, and the halibut fishery is unquestionably the most perilous pursuit in which seafaring men habitually engage. Halibut are especially well suited for marketing in a fresh condition, since the hardness of their fresh renders it possible to preserve them packed in ice for weeks, without suffering detriment to an extent which would be observed by the ordinary buyer in an inland town. Smoked halibut are highly esteemed throughout the northern United States, while the pickled fins and heads are put up to supply a limited New England market. The turbot, (Rhombus maximus), and the brill, (Rhombus tæxis), are favorite food fishes in Great Britain and the adjoining parts of the continent, and with the sole, (Solea vulgaris), give rise to an extensive fishery with trawl nets. Though attaining a larger size than any of the flounders of our North Atlantic coast, they are yet superior, such as the common flounder, (Paralichthys dentatus), or the flatfish, (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), which are to a great extent neglected by our people. We have no substitute in the eastern United States for the sole, which, in flavour and texture, fax surpasses any of our flatfishes, although we have some magnificent species to which it is zoologically closely similar, tentative experiments have been tried with a view to its acclimation here, and there can be little doubt that this will be accomplished as soon as a really positive effort is made in what direction. The Greenland turbot, so called, (Platysomatichthys hippoglossoides), is brought from Newfoundland by the winter herring fleet, and is often seen in the markets of the eastern cities. It is one of the most delicious of flatfishes, and deserves to be better known. The pole flounder, (Glyplocephalus cynoglossus), inhabits deep holes off the New England coast, where it was discovered in 1877 by the United States fish commission. By many its flesh is highly relished. California has many species of flatfishes in its markets, about all of which pass by the name "sole"; none of them have as yet acquired special renown as a food fish. The turbot of the Black sea, (Rhombus mæoticus), is a species of some importance. The plaice, (platessa culgaris), the scholle of scholleof Germany, is also valued in Europe.


The Red Perch Family. The rose fish, red perch, or Norway haddock, (eebastes marinus), if of special importance to the natives of Greenland, and considerable quantities are taken in the British provinces and northern New England by shore fishermen, as well as in northern Europe. This family attains its highest commercial importance, however, on our Pacific coast, where under various names, many of them variations of the word rockfish, no less than twenty-eight closely related species occur, all of them highly esteemed for food. A closely related family, (Chiridæ), is also present in great force in that region, six or more species being included in the list of California food fishes. Among these is the cultus cod, or buffalo cod, (Oplaodon elongatus), and several forms of "rock trout."


The Wrasses and Parrot Fishes. Fishes of the families Labridæ and Scaridæ abound in tropical waters, especially among coral reefs, and with their graceful forms and bright colors are among the showiest and most beautiful of their class. These showy tropical forms are usually dry and flavorless when cooked. There are, however, many less conspicuous species inhabiting temperate water, and a few, a well, in the tropics, which are highly prized for food. In our New England and middle states are the tautog or bluefish, (Tautoga americana), and the cunner, chogset, or blue-perch, (Ctenolabrus adspersus), both captured by hook and line in considerable quantities, and entering largely in local consumption. The scare or scarus of the Mediterranean, (Scarus cretensis), is still highly prized, and in the days of ancient Rome was considered the choicest of fishes, and was introduced from the Troad into the sea between Ostium and Campagua, at great expense, by Elipentius. Coridodax pullus, the butter fish, or kelp fish or New Zealand, is an important food fish; and Lachnolamus falcatus, of the West Indian fauna, the hog-fish of Bermuda, is in many places greatly depended upon in the fish market. The sale of the latter species is forbidden by law in Cuba, on account of supposed poisonous properties of its flesh. It is nevertheless sold in large quantities. Many species of this group are looked upon with suspicion in the tropics, and doubtless at times acquire poisonous properties from their food.


The Swordfish Family, etc. The members of this family, swordfishes, sail-fishes, and spear-fishes, are eaten in all parts of the world. The only commercial fisheries, however, are along the shores of Sicily and Calabria, and along the shores of Sicily and Calabria, and of New England, where the common swordfish, (Xiphias gladms), is pursued with harpoon and line similar to those employed by whalemen. The flesh of this enormous fish is excellent, either fresh or pickled. (For details see Good's History of the Swordfish Family, in Report of U.S. Fish Commission, Part VIII.) The silvery hair-tail, or scabbard fish, (Trichurus lepturus), a near relative of swordfish, is an important species at Jamaica.


The Surf fish Family. The surf-fishes of the Pacific coast, constituting the family Embiotocida, are best known from their remarkable habit of bringing forth their young alive. They are among the most important food fishes of the Calilfornian coast, and twelve distinct species are known from the San Francisco markets.


The Drum Family, (Scianidæ). The drum family occurs in all the warmer parts of the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and is well represented on the Pacific coast. The species are nearly all large, and are of such excellent quality for food that the family would seem to deserve mention among the few which are of the greatest importance to man. The drums, however, with a few exceptions, do not congregate together in schools, and can only be caught by the slow processes of hook and line fishing from the shore, and are therefore rarely, if ever, the objects of special fisheries carried on upon a commericial basis. Our eastern coast is particularly well stocked with edible fishes of this family, such as the well-known squeteague, or weakfish (Cynoscian regalis), and its southern representative, the spotted trout or sea trout, of the South Atlantic states, (C. carolinus), which are valued not only a particularly fine quality of isinglass, and are caught in large numbers in weirs and scines. The drum, (Pogonias chromis), is well known as one of the most destructive enemies of the oyster beds, and, when young, is a desirable food fish. The fresh-water drum, (Haploidonotus grunniens), distributed widely throughout the great lakes and the Mississippi basin, is known by numerous local titles, such as gaspergou, jewel head, sheepshead, and maleshagenay. The lafayette, spot or goody (Liostomus obliquus), and the croaker, (Micropogou undulatus), are well known types of the smaller members of this family, all consumed in large quantities from New York southward. The drum of the Chesapeake, the redfish or channel bass of southern waters, (Sciænops ocellatus), often attains the weight of forty of sixty poinds, and is captured in large quantities in nets and with the hook. The kingfish, (Menticirrus nebulosus), and the whiting of Charleston, (M. alburullus), are also important species, and next to the pompano, Spanish mackerel, and sheepshead, are the most highly prized by epicures and most costly in the market. The queen-fish, the bagre and the roncador are members of this group, well known in California. The maigre, (Sciana aquilla), and the ombre, or coroo, (Umbrina cirrusa), are European food fishes, and others of commercial importance occur at the cape of Good Hope and in the East Indies.


The Sheepshead Family. The sheepsheads, or sea breams, are, like the drums, of importance everywhere, but though caught in quantities in the aggregate, with hook and line, among the rocks where they feed, they can not ordinarily be taken by wholesale method. An exception to this general statement may be made in the case of the scup, or porgy, (Stenitibeys argyrops), which is the subject of an extensive trap fishery in Narragansett bay, during the spawning season in the spring. (See Baird in Report of U.S. Fish Commission, part I., pp. 228-235.) The sheepshead, (Archosargus probatocephalus), occurs from Cape Cod southward to the gulf of Mexico, and is a favorite of anglers and epicures, besides being a prominent feature in many markets. The sailors' choice, or pin-fish, (Lagodon rhomboides), is a small species of value. The sargo of the Mediterranean is well known, and there are in the east numerous important fishes of this group, among them the snapper, (Pagrus unicolor), one of the chief fishes of southern Australia and New Zealand,Pagellus lithognathusof the cape of Good Hope, and Chryophrys hastaof the East Indies and China.


The Snapper Family. Several members of this family, (Prislipomatidee), occur in the markets from New York south ward under the name of grunt, and numerous similar forms occur elsewhere in warm seas. The red snapper, (Lutjanus blackfordii), is the most important of its representatives in the United States, giving rise to a large and constantly increasing reef fishery in the gulf of Mexico, from which Pensacola and New Orleans derive a large income. The gray snapper, (Luljanus caxis), and the red snapper, (L. autolycus), are among the most important food fishes of the Bermuda.


The Perch Tribe. The sea basses proper, (Serranida), like the fishes of the three families last mentioned, while not captured by wholesale means, are of much importance to the local fisherman of many regions. The sea bass of New England and the middle states, (Centropristis atrarius), the blackfish of Charleston and the south, is one of the best representatives of the group. New York, Noank, Philadelphia and Charleston all have small fleets of fishing vessels chiefly engaged in their capture. The grouper, (Epinephelus morio), gives rise to considerable smack fishery in the gulf, carried on by New England and Florida fishermen for the supply of the Havana market. Numerous other species of local repute might be mentioned. The family Labracide, closely allied to that just mentioned, includes our striped bass, or rockfish, (Morone lineata), one of the noblest of game fishes, and of great commercial value withal, which is found from the gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida, and is taken both by hook and by net in all the rivers and estuaries. The bass of England, (Morone labrax), is a very similar fish. Our white perch, (Morone americana), is sold in immense quantities in markets south of Cape Cod, and is one of the most useful of our smaller fishes. The white bass, and the short striped bass and similar forms, inhabit the great lakes and the Mississippi basin. The common perch, (Perca fluciatilis), occurs in lakes and streams throughout eastern North America, Europe, and northwestern Asia, and is everywhere of great local importance. The pike perches, represented in the United States by at least two species of the genus stizontedium, known in the interior states by such names as wall-eyed pike, sauger, and frequently also erroneously by such names as salmon and salmontrout, are important, as is also the zander, (Lucioperca zandra), of continental Europe. A family, allied to the perches, which attains its highest development in North America, is that of the breams, (Centrarchidæ). In addition to the two species of Micropterus, the large-mouthed black bass, (M. salmoides), and the small-mouthed black bass, (M. dolomicu), so well known throughout the United States, we have in the streams and rivers—particularly those east of the Rocky Mountains—numerous smaller forms known by such names as breams, bass, sun-fish, etc. The bluefish, (Pomatomus saltarix), is the only noteworthy species in a very small family. (See Baird in Report of U.S. Fish Commission, Part I., pp. 235-252.) It ;is of great importance on our coast from New England to Cape Hatteras, but though found in almost all warm seas is elsewhere oflittle economic value. The moon-fish, (chæ'odipterus faber), called porgy in the Chesapeake bay, is another important isolated species. This fish—which as a table fish is similar to, and equals, if not surpasses, the sheepshead—is taken abundantly in the Chesapeake, and is rapidly coming into notice in the markets of New York, Baltimore and Washington.


The Mullet Family. The mullet family, (Mugilida), sometimes called "the gray mullets," occurs everywhere in the brackish waters of temperate and tropical regions. Over seventy species are already known. They swim in schools, and being easily caught in simple nets, form an important article of food for the poor whereverthey occur. In Italy, mullet roes are esteemed a delicacy, and, when salted and smoked, constitute the renowned "botargo." The mullets of the southern Atlantic, (Mugil lineatusand M. brasiliensis), give occasion for a considerable shore fishery.


The Anchory Family. The family of anchovies, (Engraulidæ), is of comparatively small importance save in southern Europe, where considerable quantities of these tender little fish are preserved in oil, or put up in the form of a relish under the name of anchovy sauce.


The Catfish Family. The catfishes are always of some local importance, but nowhere give rise to commercial fisheries of considerable extent. In Philadelphia and in Washington considerable quantities are annually marketed.


The Carps and Suckers. Suckers, dace, and other brook fishes belonging to the families Cyprinnidæ and Catostomidæ, are of local importance in Europe and North America. The common carp, (Cyprinus carpio), for two centuries a highly prized domestic animal of Europe, has, since 1877, been introduced into all parts of the United States by the United States fish commission, and is undoubtedly a most valuable accession to the food resources of the country. The buffalo carps, (Bubalichthys urus), and other species of the Mississippi valley, are of immense size for fresh-water species, sometimes weighing fifty or sixty pounds. It is quite possible that if domesticated they would be of more value than even the Germancarp.


Various Minor Families. The eel, (Anguilla culgaris), is also of local importance in Europe and eastern North America. Hatched from the eggs at sea, the little female eels, when not larger than a common darning needle, ascend the rivers to their sources. After three or four years they descend to the sea, where they encounter the males, propagate their kind, and die. On their downward descent they are caught in "eel sets," or weirs, placed across the river at right angles to its current. (for details see Goode, article in Bulletin of U.S. Fish Commission, Vol. I.) The marays, various species of Muranida, and related families, are of importance in tropical countries. The sturgeons, (Acipenseridæ), are of most importance in Russia, where the Sterlet, (Acipensar ruthenus), and some of the larger species afford material for the much prized caviare. An extensive sturgeon fishery is growing up in the rivers of the eastern Atlantic states, and large quantities of the lake sturgeon. (Acipenser rubicundus), are caught in our great lakes. Quantities of caviare and smoked sturgeon are now put up in the United States to supply the demands of the large foreign-born population. Sharks are much dreaded, the world over, on account of their size and voracity, though in temperate regions they are rarely dangerous to men. In the United States we have but two species of commercial value, though many are pernicious on account of the annoyance they cause to the fisherman. The dog-fish, (Squatus americanus), is caught in quantities on the New England coast for the sake of its liver, rich in oil. In California the oil shark, (Galeorkinus galeus), is the subject of a considerable fishery. Oil is casually obtained from many other of our common sharks, particularly the basking shark, (Selache maxima), the liver of one of which will yield several barrels of valuable oil. Throughout the East Indies there are in various localities, particularly at Kurrachee, extensive shark fisheries carried on for the purpose of obtaining the fins for drying and export to China. Small sharks are eaten in many countries. Skates are eaten in Europe, and a small quantity of their fins is now consumed in New York. From the skins of skates and sharks ornamental leather called shagreen, (also used for polishing purposes by metal and wood-workers,) is obtained, Lampreys, (Petromyzontidæ), though esteemed as food in Europe, are not used in the United States, save at Hartford, Connecticut. In the codfishery of the German ocean they are of the highest importance for bait.


Mollusks. The oyster, (Ostrea, varios species), is the most important of all mollusks, and is more abundant and valuable in our southern Atlantic states than elsewhere, its production amounting to $13,000,000 annually. The oysters of Europe are, like those of California, less abundant, smaller, and to the American taste of inferior quality. Oyster culture is extensively prosecuted, and with considerable success, on the coasts of France, and to a less degree in Holland. Without some special effort our oyster fisheries bid fair to become extinct within a quarter of century. (For details See Ernest Ingersoll's The Oyster Industry of the United States, a part of the Fishery Census Report, printed in 1881.)


—The eastern United States is well provided with other delicious shellfish, the clam, (Mya arenaria), the quahog, (Venus mercenaria), and the scallop, (Pecten irradians). Little attention is paid in this country to the mussels and snails, so much eaten by the lower classes in Europe, and of which we have an abundant supply.


—The most important source of mother-of-pearl which we have is the abalone or ear-shell, (Haliotis various species), found on our Pacific coasts. In 1880 $703,250 worth of their shells and dried flesh were gathered, the latter exported to China. There is a vast undeveloped resource in the fresh water mussels (Unionidæ) so abundant in the Mississippi valley. The greatest part of the mother-of-pearl of commerce comes from the pearl fisheries of the east, in the gulf of Manaar, in Ceylon and southern India, in the Persian gulf, on the coast of Australia and in the bay of Panama. Statistics of these fisheries can not well be given. Simmonds estimates that between 1769 and 1877 Ceylon produced over $5,000,000, Tutecorin in 1861 about $50,000, the Persian gulf about $2000,000, and the bay of Panama about $125,000. In 1870 pearis to the value of about $123,000 were imported to France and Great Britain, Cameos are made from the helmet shells, (Cassis, various species), and from the conch, (Strombus gigas), large quantities of which are gathered annually in warm seas. From the latter is made the pink shell jewelry, of late coming into favor. The chank shell (Turbinella pyrum) is the sacred shell of India, and is used in their temples as well as in various manufactures. The fisheries of the Indian ocean yield from four to five millions of these shells annually worth from $50,000 to $75,000. The cowry shell, (Crypræa, various species), is the only coin in use in parts of Africa and India, and immense quantities, of uncertain value, are yearly sent to those countries. The "cuttle-fish bone" of commerce is obtained from a species of squid abundant in the Mediterranean, and vast supplies of dried cuttle fish are imported into China, for food, from all eastern seas. The squid is gathered in large quantities on our eastern coast for baiting in the cod fisheries, and affords employment to a number of schooners. The minor uses of mollusks are multifarious.


Crustaceans. The lobster is the most important of crustaceans, and is still very abundant on the coast of our middle and New England states as well as that of Nova Scotia. In addition to the large quantities consumed in a fresh state, there is a product of canned lobsters worth $238,280. New England capital supports seventeen lobster canneries in Canada, the entire product of which is exported to England, and is not recorded upon the export records of our custom houses. Norway has extensive lobster fisheries and the neighboring countries of northern Europe obtain smaller harvests, Crawfish, (Aslacusand Cambarus, numerous species), are very abundant in the United States, but are not yet appreciated; in Europe they are highly esteemed, and command liberal prices, Shrimps, too, so largely consumed in Europe, are rarely caught in this country; there are one or two shrimp canneries on the coast of the gulf of Mexico, and in California large quantities are dried for export to China. Crabs are eaten in all parts of the world. On our eastern coast the blue crab (Callinectes hastatus) is extensively captured, and, especially when in the "softshell" condition, is a favorite article of food. Canneries have recently sprung up on the shores of the Chesapeake.


Worms. The palolo (Palolociridis)is an important article of food at the Navigators' islands, and many tribes of American Indians feast periodically upon worms and insect larvae. The only worms of importance to civilized man are the medicinal leeches, (Hirudo medicinedis of Europe, and allied forms). Most of the leeches used in this country are imported, though certain American leeches, as Macrobdella decora, are by many authorities considered valuable for surgical purposes.


Radiates. The precious red coral. (Corallium nobile), comes chiefly from the Mediterranean, though a small quantity is obtained at the Cape Verde islands and certain less valuable kinds from India, the Malay archipelago and Japan. A rough estimate places the value of the annual production coral at $2,500,000, in an unmanufactured state. The trepang, or beche de mer, belongs to group of holothurians, closely related to the star fishes. They are obtained in quantity in all eastern seas, and are dried for exportation to China, where they constitute a favorite article of food. The value of the Chinese import may be anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000. About 1870 an establishment for drying trepangs was in operation at Key West, but it was soon abandoned. Abundant as these animals are on our own southern coasts and in the West Indians, no use can be made of them until "Chinese cheap labor" is introduced into those regions.


Sponges. Sponges are obtained in the Mediterranean to the value of at least $2,000,000 annually, and the greater part of the sponges used in the United States are still imported. Florida has a large and growing sponge industry, and, except in the finest qualities, experts consider the product of the Gulf equal to that of Europe.


—APPARATUS OF THE FISHERIES. Although it is impossible in this essay to describe all the forms of fishery apparatus, it seems appropriate to call attention to their general character and to caution the reader against certain popular errors, into which, owing to similarity of names, persons unfamiliar with the fisheries are likely to fall. The hook and line is the commonest instrument of capture, and, varied in form and material, is used in much the same manner in all parts of the world. The trawl line, set line, spilliard, trot line or bull-tow, used in North America and northern Europe, consists of numerous short lines, each with hook attached, fastened at intervals along a heavier main line. A New England trawling schooner often lays out ten to fourteen miles of trawl line. Drailing, trailing or trolling should be distinguished from trawling. In fishing by this method a spoon bait, squid or batted hook is rapidly pulled across the surface of the water, either from a boat in motion or from a station on the shore. The trawl net of Europe should be carefully distinguished from the trawl line, with which it is often confused by the inexperienced. This is an immense bag net, dragged slowly over the bottom, for the capture of soles, turbots and other ground-loving species, its mouth being kept open by a framework of iron and wood (beam-trawl) or by two broad boards or otters, spread apart by the pressure of the water (otter-trawl). The dredge, used in the oyster fisheries and in scientific exploration, is a net similar to a trawl net, but much smaller, its mouth being formed of a framework of iron from two to four feet wide. The oyster dredge is often made entirely of iron. Seines are of all sizes, from that of ten feet (used by two persons, wading) to those a mile or more in length, used in the shad fisheries of the Potomac and the North Carolina sounds, set and hauled by the use of steam. The purse-seine, used with such tremendous effect in the menhaden and mackerel fisheries of the United States, is an immensely deep and long net, which, after it has been made to encircle a school of fish is drawn together in the form of a purse or pocket, from which the fish are bailed out with shovel or scoop nets. The gill net is a net with large openings into which fish thrust their heads and are retained by the pressure of the twine. The pound net, trap net, weir, bar net, fyke, eel basket, lobster pot, mudgrague, and numerous other devices, are all forms of the labyrinth trap, the fish gaining access to the interior through a tortuous or narrow passage, through which, from lack of intelligence, they are unable to return to freedom. Fish spears, grains, gigs, etc., are all many-pronged forks with barbed tips, which are used, the world over, in striking large fish, turtles and porpoises. The harpoon, originally a one-tined spear, with single or double prong, is now usually constructed on the principle of a toggle, the head turning upon a pivot after it has entered the flesh of the animal struck. The "lily iron" or "Indian dart," used in the sword fishery, is the form of the toggle-harpoon. Toggle-harpoon-heads are now frequently shot into whales by means of large guns, and the use of explosive bullets is becoming general in the whale fishery of the United States.


—FISHERIES OF THE STATES. Owing to the fact that at the time of the preparation of this article the statistical results of the investigation of the fisheries made in connection with the tenth census are not fully compiled, it is only possible to present a partial statement of the condition of the fisheries. The figures presented are, in the main, to be regarded as final, though certain correctionswill necessarily be made hereafter in the statistics of the gulf states, and of other localities.


—The total value (to the producers) of the products of the fisheries, is $44,870,232. The prices upon which this estimate is based are very low, and if the value of the product were estimated on the basis of prices paid by retail merchants to jobbers and wholesale dealers, the amount would be at least $90,000,000, and probably much more. In addition to the sum above stated, which has reference solely to the sea and great river and lake fisheries, the smaller rivers and lakes of the continent yield products, the value of which, at the lowest estimate, is $1,500,000. More than half of the value stated is in the product of the class of fisheries which has been designated by the term "general food fisheries," which includes all of our great food fisheries along shore and at sea, most prominent among these being the cod, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, haddock and lobster fisheries, allof which, though sometimes carried on as special fisheries, are so interwined in matters of capital, vessels and fisherman, that it is impossible todiscuss them separately except at great length. The yield of the so-called general fisheries is valued at $25,128,717. Next in importance is the oyster fishery, valued at $13,403,832, the whale fishery at $2,323,948, the menhaden fishery at $2,116,787, and the seal fishery at &1,390,313, followed by the sponge fishery at $200,750, and the marine salt industry at $305,890.


—In these several fisheries are directly employed 132,081 persons, of whom 102,758 are fishermen, and 29,323 are "shoresmen," being men employed on the wharves in packing and curing fish, or in the numerous canning establishments. The number of vessels overfive tons in burden in 6,605, valued at $9,358,282; of boats 44,800, valued at $2,460,000. The total amount of capital invested in the fisheries, including the value ofvessels, boats, apparatus and shore property, is put at $38,336,000.


—The New England states stand first in importance, since from the ports of this district most of the deep sea or off-shore fisheries are prosecuted. The total number of persons employed is 37,043, of whom 28,838 are actual fishermen. The capital invested amounts to $19,937,607, there being 2,126 vessels, valued at $4,562,131, and 14,787 boats, valued at $739,970, besides outfit, apparatus and shore property in proportion. The value of the product is placed at $14,270,393, of which about $10,,000,000 is distributed to the general fisheries; $2,211,385 to the whale fishery; $1,478,900 to the oyster fishery; $439,722 to the menhaden fishery; $111,851 to the Antarctic seal and sea elephant fishery; and $3,890 to the marine salt industry.


—Next in importance stand the southern states, which employ 58,204 persons, 44,230 of whom are actual fishermen; 18,283 boats, valued at $685,476; 3,211 vessels, valued at $2,683,521, together without fit, gear and shore property sufficient to bring the total amount of capital invested up to $9,496,991.*4. The total value of products for this division is estimated at $11,025,027, the general fisheries being rated at $3,236,137; the oyster fishery at $7,382,052; and the sponge fishery at $200,750.


—The fisheries of the southern states are naturally divided into two sections: those of the gulf of Mexico and those of the Atlantic coast. Messrs. Earll and McDonald present the following summary of statistics for the latter, including sea and river fisheries of Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and East Florida:

No. of persons employed... 52,814
No. of fishing vessels... 3,014
Tonnage of same... 60,88.15
No. of fishing boats... 13,331
Capital dependent on the fishery industries... $8,931,722
Ponds of fish sold fresh for food... 42,471,349
Pounds of fish salted for food... 80,579,500
Pounds of Miscellaneous products for fertilizers and others purposes... 91,688,800
Value of products to the fishermen... $9,602,737

"The only persons included in the tables are those who fish extensively, or devote a considerable portion of their time to preparing and marketing fishery products. Parties fishing for pleasure or home supply are wholly neglected, though an estimate of the fish taken by them is included. A large majority of the fishermen are married, having families depending upon them. Assuming that 30,000 families are represented, the total number of people dependent upon the fisheries of this district will scarcely fall below 200,000. Fully five-eighths of the entire number are Americans, nine-tenths of the remainder are negroes, and the rest are foreigners, chiefly of Spanish descent." "The $9,602,737 represents the sum realized by the fishermen as the result of their labor, and not the market value of the catch. Owing to the cost of transportation, the expense of icing and packing, and the profits of the various middlemen, the values of many of the products are greatly increased before they finally reach the consumer. If the market value of the products be desired, fully $7,000,000 must be added to the above figures."


—Following the southern states, forming a group third in importance, stand the states and territories of the Pacific coast. In Oregon, Washington and California there are 5,555 fishermen and 5,060 shoresmen and factory hands. The total number of fishermen in Alaska is estimated at 6,000, though practically nearly the entire population of the territory, men, women and children, are actively engaged in the fisheries. On our Pacific coast there are 5,547 boats, valued at $404,695; and 53 vessels, worth $178,450. The total amount of capital value of the product, including $2,345,547 for enhancement of value upon 43,389,442 pounds of salmon in canning, amounts to $9,438,277, $3,715,668 (or $6,061,215 if the enhancement on salmon be included,) of this amount is credited to general fisheries; $703,250 to the oyster and mussel fisheries; and $225,300 to the whale fishery (a small quantity of seal and salmon, and shark oil, being included)


—The middle states constitute a group fourth in importance. With the great-lake fisheries of New York and Pennsylvania included, the statistics of these four states are as follows: Persons employed, 16,017, of whom 13,482 are actually employed in fishing. Number of vessels, 1,211, (with tonnage of 23,576,50), valued at $1,385,600; of boats 8,501, valued at $560,347, together with other property sufficient in value to increase amount of capital invested to $4,309,828. Value of products, $8,874,899; of which $3,111,040 is classed under general fisheries, $4,532,900 under oyster fishery, and $1,261,385 under menhaden fishery. The value of the river and lake fisheries of the middle states is placed by Earll and McDonald at $634,921, a portion of which, $208,320, is to be deducted if the value of the river fisheries of the Atlantic coast is to be separately considered. The fisheries of the great lakes are, perhaps, most conveniently discussed in a separate group. The value of the coast fisheries of the middle states is $8,666,579.


—The fisheries of the great lakes, as tabulated by Mr. F. W. True, in census bulletin No. 261, employ 5,050 fishermen; 49 steam tugs; 1,656 vessels and boats; and capital in the aggregate to the amount of $1,345,975. The total number of pounds of fish taken is 68,742,000, valued at $1,632,900 in fresh condition, and $1,784,050 when finally put upon the market by producers. The fisheries of Lake Michigan are most important, employing 1,578 men, and $531,135 capital; 612 vessels and boats (30 of which are tugs), valued at $125,895; 476 pound nets; 24,599 gill nets; 19 seines, and 1,455 smaller nets; and producing 23,141,875 pounds of fish, (12,030,400 whitefish, 2,639,450 trout, 3,030,400 lake herring, 3,839,600 sturgeon, 110,925 "hard fish," 408,800 "soft fish," 508,600 "coarse fish," and 533,700 "mixed fish"), valued at $668,400. Those lf Lake Erie are almost as important, employing 1,470 men; 538 vessels and boats; 758 pound nets; 5,755 gill nets, and 8,145 smaller nets; with aggregate capital invested of $503,500; and producing 26,607,300 pounds of fish, (2,185,800 whitefish, 26,200 trout, 11,874,400 lake herring, 1,590,000 sturgeon, 4,214,800 "hard fish," 5,994,900 "soft fish," 43,000 "coarse fish," and 1,178,2000 "mixed fish"), valued at $412,880. Lake Superior has 414 fishermen; 155 boats; $81,380 invested capital; 43 pound nets; 4,630 gill nets; 32 seines; 2000 small nets; and produces 3,816,625 pounds of fish, (2,257,000 of which are whitefish), valued at $118,370. Lake Huron, (with Lake St. Clair), has 976 men; $155,910 capital: and produces 11,536,200 pounds of fish, worth $293,550. Lake Ontario has 612 men; $54,050 capital; and produces 3,640,000 pounds of fish, worth $159,700.


—In addition to the fishermen mentioned above, there are Canadian fisheries of considerable extent, the product of which is largely sold in the United States.


—As has already been indicated, New England possesses the most important fisheries in the United States, and they are also, without doubt, the most profitable and extensive in the world. Norway, with 56,000 fishermen, produces not over $12,000,000 value of fishery products annually, while New England, with 29,000 fishermen, or with 37,000 if all shoresmen are counted, produces $14,000,000. The close rivalry of the southern states with New England is due to the extent of the oyster fishery. Remove this, and the value of the fisheries of the south remains only $3,400,000. Eliminating the salmon industry, the general fisheries of the Pacific slops are worth only $2,800,000. The general fisheries of New England alone are worth about $10,000,000.


—With a coast line of 5,013 miles*5. extending from the Arctic circle almost to the tropics, and with flashing fleets in Arctic, Antarctic and Equatorial seas, the United States participates in almost every kind of fishing known to mankind, except the coral fishery. The extent and variety of its fishery interests were especially evident on the occasion of the late international fishery exhibition in Berlin, in which the United States was brought into comparison with all the countries of the world which posses commercial fisheries, except France.


—The coast fisheries, or those carried on from the shore with small boats, are similar in character and extent to those of other countries. There are, in addition to these, certain special fisheries, in large part peculiar to this country, to which reference must be made, though this article is too limited to permit their satisfactory discussion.


—The menhaden fishery is different from any other in the world. The commercial importance of the menhaden has but lately come into appreciation. Twenty-five years ago, and before, it was thought to be of very small value. A few millions were taken every year in Massachusetts bay, Long Island sound, and the inlets of New Jersey. A small portion of these were used for bait; a few barrels occasionally salted in Massachusetts to be exported into the West Indies. Large quantities were plowed into the soil of the farms along the shores, stimulating the crops for a time, but in the end filling the soil with oil parching it and making it unfit for tillage. Since that time manifold uses have been found. As a bait fish this excels all others; for many years much the greatest share of our mackerel was caught by its aid, while the cod and halibut fleet use it rather than any other fish when it can be procured. The total consumption of menhaden for bait, 1877, did not fall below 80,000 barrels, or 26,000,000 of fish, valued at $300,000. Ten years before, when the entire mackerel fleet was fishing with hooks, the consumption was much greater. As a food resource it is found to have great possibilities. Many hundreds of barrels are sold in the West Indies, while thousands of barrels are salted down for domestic use by families living near the shore. In many sections they are sold fresh in the market. About 1872 there sprung up an important industry, which consists in packing these fish in oil, after the manner of sardines, for home and foreign consumption. In 1874 the production of conned fish did not fall below 500,000 boxes. This industry has now been discontinued, the herring proving to be better suited for canning. As a source of oil, the menhaden is of more importance than any other marine animal. Its annual yield usually exceeds that of the whale (from the American fisheries) by about 200,000 gallons, and, in 1874, did not fall far short of the aggregate of all the whale, seal and cod oil made in America. In 1878 the menhaden oil and guano industry employed capital to the amount of $2,350,000; 3,337 men, 64 steamers, 279 sailing vessels; and consumed 777,000,000 of fish. There were 56 factories, which produced 1,392,644 gallons of oil, valued at $450,000, and 55,154 tons of crude guano, valued at $600,000: this was a poor year. In 1874 the number of gallons produced was 3,373,000; in 1875, 2,681,000, in 1876, 2,992,000; in 1877, 2,427,000. In 1878 the total value of manufactured products was $1,050,000; in 1874 this was $1,809,000; in 1975, $1,582,000; in 1876, $1,671,000; and in 1877, $1,608,000. It should be stated that in these reports only four-fifths of the whole number of factories are included. The refuse of the oil factory supplies a material of much value for manures. As a base for nitrogen it enters largely into the composition of most of the manufactured fertilizers. The amount of nitrogen derived from this source, in 1875, was estimated to be equivalent to that contained in 60,000,000 pounds of Peruvian guano, the gold value of which would not have been far from $1,920,000. The yield of the menhaden fishery in pounds in probably triple that of any other carried on by the fishermen of the United States. In the value of its products it is surpassed by three only: the cod fishery, which in 1876 was estimated to be worth $4,826,000; the whale fishery, $2,850,000; and the mackerel fishery, $2,275,000; the value of the menhaden fishery for this year being $1,658,000. In 1880, with an increased value of products, the menhaden fishery yielded $2,116,787. In estimating the importance of the menhaden to the United States, it should be borne in mind that its absence from our waters would probably reduce all our other sea fisheries to at least one-fourth their present extent.


—The salmon fishery of the Pacific is another industry peculiar in its methods and extent. The salmon which throng the rivers of this region as they ascend to their spawning beds are taken in gill nets, to the number of 2,755,000 (in 1880), weighing 51,862,000 pounds, 3,370 fishermen, with 1,715 boats, worth, together with nets and other apparatus, $142,900, are engaged in their capture. A limited quantity (1,585,500 pounds of fish, 1,246,000 prepared,) is salted, and a still smaller quantity smoked. By far the larger portion of the catch is put up in hermetically sealed cans. In the canning industry are 45 establishments, employing 4,940 hands—for the most part Chinamen—and with capital to the amount of $1,239,000. These factories consumed, in 1880, 43,379,542 pounds of salmon, worth $909,818, and produced 31,453,152 pound cans of salmon, worth $3,255,365. The total value of the product of the Pacific salmon fishery was $3,389,934. This industry is of very recent origin, having sprung into existence, for the most part, within the last decade.


—The sardine industry of Maine is similar to the Pacific salmon industry, and of still more recent origin. Up to 1880 according to R. E. Earll, it was confined to Eastport, and though experiments were made in the preparation of herring as sardines as early as 1866, the business did not practically begin till 1875, since which time it has grown with a remarkable rapidity. In 1880 it furnished employment to over 1,500 fishermen and factory hands, in addition to 376 fishermen belonging to New Brunswick. The capital dependent upon the industry during the same season, including $80,000 belonging to the New Brunswick fishermen, was over $480,000, and the value of the products amounted to nearly $825,000.


—The lobster canning industry is also comparatively recent. It is located chiefly in Maine and the British provinces, and is carried on largely by means of Portland capital. The value of the Maine lobster fishery alone, as its products entered into consumption in 1880, was $412,076, $238,280 of which was in canned lobsters. The products of the 17 Canadian canneries, operated by capital from the United States, are exported directly to Europe, to the amount, I, am informed by Mr. Earll, of about $250,000 annually. This amount does not appear upon our custom house records, but should be recognized as a by-product of the activity of the United States in the fishery industry.


—The whale fishery has of late years greatly decreased in value, owing to the introduction of mineral oils and the great diminution in the number of whales, due to over-fishing. It is now located, for the most part, in the North Pacific and the Arctic seas in the vicinity of Behring strait. In 1880 its product was valued at $2,323,394, and it employed 171 vessels, with tonnage of 38,633,38, and 4,198 men. There is still a considerable shore fishery about Cape Cod. About eighty humpback whales were killed at Provincetown in the winter of 1879, and large schools of blackfish and porpoises often run ashore on the sandy beaches.


—The seal fishery has been fully discussed in Mr. Elliott's monographs recently published by the census office, 100,000 skins of the fur seal are annually taken by the Alaska commercial company from the Prybilov islands of Alaska, in accordance with the terms of a lease which they have received from the government of the United States. The same company obtained 47,000 skins in addition from the Commander islands, leased them by Russia. There are also 10,000 skins obtained by the shore fishermen of California and 56,000 by American fishermen in Puget sound. The total value of fur-seal skins obtained by Americans on this coast is placed at $1,540,912.*6. The fur-seal skins undergo an immense enhancement of value before leaving the bands of the Alaskan commercial company, which has establishments in London where they are plucked and dyed. Connecticut has a seal fishery in the Antarctic ocean, employing 9 vessels, and yielding, in 1880, $111,851. According to Mr. Petroff, the yield of sea-otter skins from Alaska, in 1880, amounted to 6,000, worth $600,000. In addition to these, 75, valued at $3,750, were taken in California.


—The oyster fishery of the United States is the largest single fishery in the world. It employs 52,805 persons, and yielded, in 1880, $2,195,370 bushels, worth, to the producer, $9,034,861. There is to be considered an enhancement of 13,047,922 bushels, in passing from producers to market. This enhancement, which amounts to $4,368,991, results either from replanting or from packing in tiu, and increases the value of the products to $13,438,852. This fishery employs 4,155 vessels, valued at $3,528,700, and 11,930 boats. The actual fishermen number 38,249, the shoresmen 14,556. About 80 per cent, of the total yield is obtained from the waters of Chesapeake bay. A speedy extermination of this most valuable mollusk will doubtless result unless some effective means of protection and artificial culture are soon employed. (See Ingersoll's The Oyster Industry, recently published by the census.)


—The sponge fishery of the gulf of Mexico yields sponges of an excellent quality to the value of $200,750. This is located at Key West, Cedar Key and Appalachicola.


—There are several special fisheries of great interest carried on from certain parts of New England. The winter halibut fishery is peculiar to Gloucester. It employs a fleet of 39 of the staunchest and swiftest schooners, of 80 to 100 tons, manned by crews of men whose seamanship and daring can not be surpassed. The fishery is extremely perilous, being prosecuted on the outer banks in water from 1,200 to 1,800 feet in depth. Voyages continue two to six weeks.


—The winter haddock fishery of Gloucester is almost equally perilous. In it are employed 77 of the best vessels engaged in summer in the cod and mackerel fisheries.


—The Grand bank codfishery is participated in by vessels from numerous New England ports. Formerly one of the most important fisheries, its relative prominence is much less than it was a century of half a century ago. The codfishery on Georges bank is carried on chiefly from Gloucester, and, being a winter fishery, is both profitable and perilous.


—The mackerel fishery employs 468 vessels, and 5,043 men. In 1880 its yield amounted to 343,808 barrels of salted mackerel and 28,796,855 pounds solf fresh and canned, the total number of pounds caught being 131,939,233. This fishery is of special interest from its connection with the late fishery treaties with Great Britain. (See Report of Halifax Fishery Commission).


—The swordfish fishery is carried on from New Bedford, New London, and several smaller ports of southern New England. About 17 small vessels are employed in summer, and the yield of their harpoons, together with that from the mackerel vessels, amounts to about 1,000,000 pounds. Among the minor fisheries are the pound-net or weir fishery of southern New England; the mullet fishery of the south; the sea-bass fishery of New London, Philadelphia and Charleston; the grouper fishery of the gulf of Mexico—devoted to the supply of Cuban markets; the red-snapper fishery of Pensacola; the abalone fishery of California; the clam, scallop, crab, terrapin and Irish moss fisheries, all of which might be discussed at considerable length.


—The shad and herring fisheries of out great rivers are of much importance to the commercial centres of the fish trade and to the extensive inland districts which they supply with cheap food. It is not practicable to present full statistics in this article. It may be stated, however, that the river and lake fisheries of the Middle and South Atlantic states are stated By Col. McDonald to engage 13,017 persons; 78 vessels, and 4,815 men; and to yield 69,193,974 pounds of fish, worth $2,037,948. The river fisheries of New England and the Gulf states will easily increase this amount of $2,500.000.


Exports and Imports. In the year ending June 30, 1880, the total exports of fishery products from the United States amounted to $5,744,580, distributed as follows:

Oysters... dollar;543,895
Dried and smoked fish... 739,281
Pickled fish... 281,293
Fresh fish... 124,962
Miscellaneous cured fish... 2,326,444
Wha'e and other fish oil... 349,109
Spermaceti... 43,018
Whalebone... 235,847
Manumes (chiefly fish scrap)... 588,777


—The chief exports of oysters were to Germany ($22,709), Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, etc., ($114,321), and Great Britain ($366,403). The exportation of oysters to Great Britain has increased remarkably within a few years, as is shown by the following statement from 1875 to 1881: 1875, $38,661; 1876, $99,012; 1877, $118,634; 1878, $252,999; 1879, $304,473; 1880, $363,790: 1881, $403,629. Dried and smoked fish went chiefly to the British West Indies ($20,656), French Guiana ($24,757), French West Indies ($45,683), Dutch Guiana ($43,169), Cuba ($138,369), and Hayti ($369,124). Pickled fish went in the main to the Hawaiian islands ($16,747), San Domingo ($19,513) the British West Indies ($22,734), and Hayti ($168,435). French fish went chiefly to Quebec and Ontario ($40,758), and to Cuba ($82,847). Miscellaneous cured fish chiefly those hermetically sealed in cans, went to Quebec and Ontario ($20,603), British West Indies ($21,671); Hayti (26,952), French ($29,083), Cuba ($54,624), Hawaiian islands ($57,641), Germany ($68,799), British possessions in Australasian ($157,754), Hong Kong ($261,931), and England ($1,496,365). The exportations of this class of goods in Europe increased from $184,783, in 1869, to $2,039,204, in 1878, and there is no reason why in another decade the quantity may not increase in almost equal degree. Sperm oil went almost entirely to Great Britain; whale and fish oil to Great Britain and France; spermaceti to Germany and England; and whalebone to France, Germany and England.


—In the same year imports were received to the value of &2,412,803, distributed as follows:

Shell fish, turtles, etc... $15,860
Dried and smoked fish...
(salmon, $4,785; herring, $69,986.)
Pickled fish...
(herring, $445,720; mackerel, $492,934; salmon, $182,259; other flash, $93,676,15.)
Miscellaneous cured fish... 96,885
Sundries... 1,115,663
Oils... 225,444

Of this amount, $1,715,245,25 was imported, free of duty, from Canada and Newfoundland, in accordance with the pernicious provisions of the existing fishery treaty.


—FISHERIES OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA. The fisheries of British North America, exclusive of Newfoundland, in 1880, employed 46,218 men, 1,168 vessels, 24,302 boats and netting to the value of $1,770,275. The total value of the product is placed by official authority at $19,226,528—a value which is much over-estimated if the estimates of the value of the mackerel taken serve as a criterion. In the so-called gulf division, including the fisheries of the St. Lawrence river, the north shore of the gulf of St. Lawrence, the Magdalen islands and the island of Anticosti, there are employed 11,535 fishermen and shoresmen, 166 vessels, 5,838 boats and finals, and nets and seines to the value of $688,134. The total value of the product was $2,357,220, of which $1,628,188 was in cod. In the districts above Quebec were employed 1,836 fishermen, and 1,152 boats, the product being appraised at $92,966, all in fresh-water fish. In the leased rivers of Quebec and New Brunswick were taken 1,717 salmon, weighing 23,202 pounds, worth, perhaps, $23,000. Nova Scotia employed 29,276 men, 731 vessels, 11,210 boats, and nets and weirs to the value of $661,000. The product was $6,291,061, of which $2,507,898 was in cod, $1,270,368 in mackerel, $612,321 in lobsters, $561,177 in herring, and $357,094 in haddock. New Brunswick employed 8,566 men, 220 vessels, 4,219 boats, nets and weirs, worth $262,371. The product was valued at $2,744,446, $710,149 being in lobsters, $621,543 in herring, and $297,887 in cod. Prince Edward island employed 992 men, 19 vessels, 392 boats and nets, worth $3,496. The product was $1,675,089, of which $710,210 was in canned lobsters, $661,156 in mackerel, and $112,180 in cod. British Columbia employed 1,833 fishermen, 14 vessels, 426 boats and nets, worth $40,735, and produced $713,335, chiefly in salmon ($434,000) and fur-seal skins ($163,000). In addition to this, the Indian population consumed fish to the value of $4,885,000. Ontario, with its numerous lakes and rivers, employed 2,130 men, 18 vessels, 865 boats, and netting, to the value of $114,539. It product was $444,491, $225,000 in fishes of the whitefish family, (Coregonidæ), and $104,430 in trout.


—It is impossible to ascertain exactly the value of the fisheries of Newfoundland. In 1880 the exports amounted to $7,131,095,40, more than two-thirds of which was dried codfish. The total consumption probably does not exceed $500,000.


—Estimating upon this basis, the total value of the fisheries of British North America would be $26,857,623, and of North America would be $26,857,623, and of North America as a whole, $71,727,875.


—WEST INDIES, AND CENTRAL AMERICA. Throughout the West Indies are excellent local fisheries, which are, however, quite insufficient to supply the demands of the large Catholic population. To the political economist this region is most interesting as affording a market for exported fishery produce. In 1877 Canada alone sent to the British West Indies fish to the value of $1,527,000, and to the Spanish West Indies $899,000. Cuba also consumes the entire product of the grouper fishery of the gulf of Mexico, carried on by vessels from Key West and Pensacola, and large quantities of Florida mullet. The Bahamas have important sponge fisheries, the export in 1877 amounting to $90,000, while tortoise shell, worth $15,000, was sent out the same year. The local industries of the various islands can not be discussed in an article of this character. The pearl fishery of the Mexican coast is estimated to yield yearly from $230,000 to $500,000.


—SOUTH AMERICA. Chili had, in 1865, 1,912 persons employed in fishing. No statistics of production are available. There are no fisheries of commercial importance. The Argentine republic has local fisheries of which no record can be obtained. Uruguay imported, in 1878, 1,296,000 pounds of dried fish, besides preserved and picked fish. Brazil consumes imported salt fish is great quantities, but statistics can not be obtained. Canada, in 1878, sent products worth $265,000 to South America, chiefly, no doubt, to Brazil. Here is a fine opening for the products of the United States.


—NORWAY. The whole coast of this country is the seat of an extensive shore fishery, in which about 12 per cent, of the entire made population of the country is directly engaged. At least 30 or 40 per cent., probably a still greater proportion of the population, are directly and indirectly dependent on the fisheries for a livelihood. As will be evident from the statistics presented below, the total yield of the Norwegian fisheries, when it is remembered that the population of the country is only 1,800,000, is proportionally far greater than that for any other country. The yield of the Norwegian fisheries, as based upon the an estimate of Mr. Herrman Baars, from the average export statistics of the years 1868-79, is as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

These estimates are somewhat below those for 1879 in certain kinds of products, the exports for that year in lobsters being placed at 1,019,404, instead of 1,000,000; in "klipfish," 44,684,160 kilos, instead of 35,000,000; in "stockfish," 20,665,420 kilos, instead of 20,000,000; in fish guano, 5,972,680 kilos, instead of 5,000,000; in fish roes, 50,588 barrels, instead of 40,000. The yield of herring in 187, however, was less than that given in the table of estimates; while in 1881 and 1882 this bas increased immensely, owing to the return of the herring schools so long in great part absent from these coasts. In addition to the above figures prepared by Mr. Baars for the Berlin fishery exhibition of 1880, we have a series of returns prepared by the central bureau of statistics of Norway, which place the value of the fishery yield much lower, and which are probably not so nearly correct. According to these figures, the fisheries yielded products valued as follows: 1869, $3,034,000, 1870 $5,620,320; 1871, $6,830,200, 1872, $6,090,240, 1873, $6,724,080; 1874, $6,296,400; 1875, $6,415,040; 1876, $5,987,520; 1877, $7,919,010, 1878, $5,684,640; giving an average, for the ten years, of $6,266,880.


—As is indicated in the foregoing table, about 79 per cent, of the entire product, as estimated by Mr. Baars, is exported. It is probable that the estimate for home consumption is much too small, nevertheless it is true that Norway exports a large proportion of its fishery products, and performs and important function in supplying the remainder of Europe with fish, distributing at least 300,000,000 pounds of eatable fish in marketable condition, the value of which, when finally sold to the consumer, may be estimated at fully $20,000,000. The distribution of the Norwegian fishery exports is explained in the following tables, derived from the official statistics of Norway. The first table gives exports by cities whence exported: the second exports by countries whither exported:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—For statistical purposes the coasts of Norway are divided into four districts, as follows: 1, the coast of the Skagerack, from the Swedish boundary to Cape Lindesnues; 2, the coast of the North Sea, from Cape Lindesnaes to Cape Stadt; 3, the coast of the Norwegian sea, from Cape Stadt to the island of Soöroön(lat. 70° 40° N.); and 4, the coast of the Polar sea from Soöroön to the Russian boundary on the cast. The total length of the coast line, exclusive of islands, is 1,926 miles, of which 229 lie in the first district, 327 in the second, 1,022 in the third, and 348 in the fourth. According to the estimates of the central bureau of statistics, the value of the Norwegian fishery product is divided among the four districts as follows: (1)2.6 per cent., or about $750 to the mile; (2) 10.4 per cent., or about $1,989 to the mile; (3) 72.4 per cent., or about $4,438 to the mile; (4) 14.6 per cent., or about $2,553 to the mile. The cod fisheries are prosecuted almost exclusively in the third and fourth districts, four-fifths of all the cod being landed in the third, which the herring fisheries are for the most part in the second and third.


The Norwegian coast fisheries are officially classified as follows—the figures following the name of each fishery are the percentages of the value of its yield to the average total value of the fisheries of the country, for the years 1869-78:

    Per cent
1. The winter cod fishery... 49.3
2. The spring cod fishery in Finmark... 10.8
3. The fat herring fishery... 16.2
4. Fishery for "brisling" and other small herring 1.4
5. The spring and winter herring fishery... 4.4
6. The great herring fisheries about Nordland and Tromsõ... 5.6
7. The summer fishery for pollock, cod, ling, etc.... 6.6
8. The mackerel fishery... 3.1
9. The lobster fishery 1.2
10. The salmon and trout fisheries 1.4

Grouped in more comprehensive divisions:

1,2. The winter and spring cod fishery... 60.1
3-6. The herring fisheries... 27.1
7-11. The other fisheries... 12.3

Norway has also certain fisheries in the entrance to the Baltic and a small cod fishery along the shores of Spitzbergen. The walrus and seal fishery in the vicinity of Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya employed, in 1878, 51 vessels, of 1,881 tons, and 306 persons, yielding products valued at about $40,000. The whale fishery in Varanger fiord resulted in the same year in the capture of 130 whales, valued at about $70,000.


—According to the census of 1875 there were in Norway 33,255 grown men who derived their entire support from the fisheries, and 23,381 men who, in addition to fishing during the season, carry on other work part of the year. The total,56,638, is about 10 per cent of the total adult male population,559,565. The estimated annual yield to men enraged in the several branches of the fisheries is as follows: winter cod fishery, about $60; spring cod fishery, $45; fat herring fishery, $40 to $55; mackerel fishery, $60. 12,243 boats were enraged in the winter cod fishery in 1878, and this total represents very nearly the actual number of fishing boats in Norway. They are for the most part open boats, with crews of four or five men. There are hardly any sea going vessels in the Norwegian fisheries, though m any of their clumsy "jaegten" are engaged in transporting fish from the fishing grounds to the markets.


—SWEDEN. The fisheries of Sweden are but small compared with those of Norway, and are for a considerable part carried on by men engaged in farming the major portion of the year. Sweden exports almost none of its fishery products, but consumes much imported fish obtained chiefly from Norway. There is no official estimate of the number of fishermen and fishing boats, but Dr. Sidenbladh, a recent writer, in his work entitled "Le Royaume de Suede," gives figures which indicate that at least 6,000 boats and 24,000 menj participate in the herring fishery. Professional fishermen. It is safe to assume that a very large proportion of the entire professional and non-professional fishermen engage in the herring fishery, which is by fur the most extensive and profitable of the fisheries of Sweden. In 1878, 577 persons, with 3,883 nets, were engaged in the eel fishery of Blekinfen and Schonen; in 1875 the mackerel fishery of Bohuslan employed 313 vessels and 1,280 men, and in the same year the winter fishery in the kattegat and vicinity was carried on by 179 decked boats, with a tonnage of 5,600, and crews of 1,509 men. The total product of the fisheries of Sweden, in so far as it possible to judge from the scattered statistics which are accessible, does not exceed in value $1,500,000. Of this amount, $845,000 is the value of the herring fishery, $73,000 of the salmon fishery, $40,000 of the eel fishery, and &28,000 of the lobster fishery, the remainder being distributed among the general coast fisheries for cod, flounders, lance, etc., and the various fresh-water fisheries. The fisheries of Sweden are apparently about equivalent in value to those to Connecticut, though employing regularly at least twice as many men, and in the herring season a large additional force.


—DENMARK. The fisheries of Denmark resemble those of Sweden, in that they are carried on chiefly by a peasant population, engaged part of the year in other pursuits. The fishes taken are cod, haddock, whiting and ling, the halibut, sole and other kinds of flatfish, mackerel gartish, herring, dogfish , skate, salmon and eels, besides seals, porpoises, lobsters, shrimps, black mussels and oysters. The most important fishing places are the Lim fiord, where the product in 1878-9 was valued at about $107 ,000, and 2,021 fishermen, 569 being professional fishermen, were employed; and Bornholm, where, in 1874, 759 men, in 348 boats, large and small, captured fish to the value of $163,000. The only general official estimate at present accessible is one for 1863, which puts the value of the product at $988,000, or slightly more than that of Rhode Island. Rhode Island, however, employs only 2,300 fishermen, while Denmark is estimated to have 10,000. Like Sweden, Denmark largely consumes imported fish. In the year 1877, according to Arthur Feddersen, the oyster export being left out of account, the imports of fish of all sorts exceeded the exports by 5,420,000 pounds—since, although the exports of fresh fish exceeded imports of the same by about five and one half million pounds, there were seven million pounds dried fish imported in excess of those exported. In 1878 the entire exports of fish amounted to 6,722,460 pounds, and of oysters to 1,005,023 pounds.


—RUSSIA. Russia has an important fishery on the Baltic Coast of Finland. The best statistics available are those quoted by Lindeman, who states that fish constitute the greater portion of the food of the inhabitants, and that the exports to Russia and Sweden in 1875 amounted to $457,000. The most important branch of the industry is the strömling or herring fishery, though the capture of sprats, salmon and seals employs a considerable number of men. The total yield of the Finnish fisheries can fall below $700,000, and is about equal to that of Michigan, Louisiana or Rhode Island. Russia has also fisheries of some extent in the Polar sea, an account of which may be found in the Report of United States Fish Commission, Part III.. pp.35-96. Statistics for these fisheries are not to be had. Numerous herring are taken in autumn and early winter, most of which are packed in barrels and sent to Archangel. Salmon are caught abundantly at the months of the Petschora, Meson, Dwina, Onega, Warsuka and other rivers, while a large cod and halibut fishery is carried on in the numerous bays of the Murmanian coast. An extensive sealhunt continues from the beginning of February to the end of March on the east coast of the White sea and in neighbouring regions, while the beluga or white whale, the walrus and the polar bear are objects of pursuit for men and vessels in summer. There is also considerable seal and walrus hunt on the southern coast of Novaya Zemlya. Russia has control of the important fur-seal fishery of the Kurile islands and other localities on the Pacific coast of Asia. The Alaska commercial company of San Francisco and St. Petersburg leases the Commander islands, whence, in 1880, 47,000 fur-seal skins were taken. There are also important cod-fishing privileges in the Okhotsk sea, in which several California vessels have participated until 1882, when by the removal of the Russian custom house from Petropolovsk to Vladivostock they have been practically debarred from this privilege. The inland fisheries of Russia are of great extent and importance, and are discussed in an extensive and finely illustrated folio work published by the government. Statistics are not to be had. The following estimate of the Russian fisheries was derived from the Russian commissioner to the Berlin fishery exhibition. The total proceeds of the fisheries, those of Siberia and of small fresh water streams and ponds excepted, is estimated to amount to $22,039,000. About $2,950,000 of this is distributed to the Caspian, $735,000 to the Baltic, $735,000 to the white sea and those portions of the Artic sea which border the provience of Archangel, $785,000 to the Black sea, and about $3,685,000 to the great lakes and rivers. The total imports amount to about 3,000,000 pounds, chiefly herring and canned fish, while the exports, consisting only of caviar and isinglass, amount to about $1,470,000. The value of seal skins and oil taken by Russians amnounts to about $250,000 annually.


—GERMANY. The fisheries of Germany are of small statistical importance, owing to the limited extent of seacoast, and to the fact that the product of river, lake and brook can not be easily estimated, and is necessarily for the most part ignored. The streams have been depleted by over-fishing, and strenuous efforts are being made by the Deustscher Fischerei Verein, a powerful society, under governmental patronage, to restock them for the benefit of the inland population, to whom fish are of great dietetic importance. The annual importation of edible fishery products is valued at about $1,410,000, while the export is only $77,000. In 1872, 17.193 persons were employed in the coast fisheries, of whom 6,969 were professional fishermen. 5.011 assistants and 5,215 occasional or semi-professional fishermen. There were 732 fishing stations and 8, 140 boats. The most important single fishery is that carried on by the Haring-fischerei gesellschaft of Emden which employed 11 "loggers" or fishing boats of a peculiar model, and in 1878 captured herring to the value of about $42,000. Other fisheries in the North sea are the shore-net fisheries valued at about $16,000, the haddock fishery of Norderney, which employs about 400 men in 70 open boats, and in 1872 yielded from 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 pounds of haddock, worth, perhaps $30,000. The fisheries of Heligoland, employing 400 fishermen and 32 "Schaluppes" or open boats yield annually some 600,000 haddock, worth about $25,000, and the fisheries at the mouth of the Elbe amount to perhaps $;5,000 more. The Baltic fisheries of Germany are chiefly for flounders, cod. herring and salmon. The value of the Baltic fisheries is probably less than $200,000. There is also a small oyster fishery on the Schleswig. Holstein coast, the value of which can not exceed $10,000. It is to be regretted that the value of the German fisheries has not been appraised by any recent authority. An estimate based upon the most liberal interpretation of the data now before me would put their entire worth at less than $350,000, inland fisheries being of course excepted. This is slightly more than the worth of the fisheries of California, and much less than that of Connecticut. New Jersey and Virginia.


—HOLLAND. According to statements furnished to Dr. Lindeman by Prof Buys, of Leyden, the herring fishery of Holland employs 127 seagoing vessels and 265 smaller craft, with crews in all numbering about 2,700. The total product amounted, in 1878, to 150000,000 herrings, valued at $1,164,240. Many vessels of the herring fleet are engaged in winter in the capture of cod on the Dodger bank in the North Sea. They fish with trawl lines and a considerable portion of the catch is salted down in the holds of the vessels, as is done our own Grand bank cod schooners. The value of this fishery in 1878 was $392,876. There also a coast fishery for the capture of fish be sold fresh in the markets, shrimps, anchovies, etc. The consumption of fresh fish in two important centres, mentioned by Prof. Buys amounts top $232,177; more audacious than he, We venture to estimate the total local consumption at $462,000. The export of fresh fish shrimps and anchovies amounts to 13,000,000 pounds, which, if the statements of Buys are correctly understood, is over and above the amount of local consumption. These is also an oyster fishery on natural beds along the coasts of Seeland and the island of Texal. This yielded, in 1876, 36,560,000 oysters; in 1877, 9,769,200; in 1878, 7,193,200. The value of the product in the last year is placed at $198,757. In the same region are mussel beds; from which, in 1878, about 2,900,000 pounds of mussels were obtained. The total number of vessels and fishermen in Holland is given by Prof. Buys as follows: Great fishery (herring and cod) 127 vessels, with 1,886 men; coast fisherries(for herring, cod, etc.), 453 vessels, 3,309 men; fisheries of the Zuiderzee(herring, anchovy, schollee), 1,282 boats, 3,269 men; fisheries of Groingen and Friesland, 183 boats,523 men; fisheries of Seeland, 472 boats, 1,026 men. Total, vessels and boats, 2,517; men, 10,014. The value of the fisheries is n ot summed up, and as usual it is necessary for the winter of this article to make a provisional total. It seems probable that this should not be less than $2,350,000. The exports of Holland to Germany amounted, in 1878, to 8,874,000 smoked berrings and 55,000 barrels of pickled herrings, 578,600 pounds of dried codfish, 1,326,000 pounds of fresh fuish, about 792,000 pounds (in 1877) of anchovies, and 1,170,500 oysters. To Belgium, in the same year, were sent 24,435,000 smoked herrings, 741,400 pounds of dried codfish, 10,276,000 pounds of fresh fish, and an indefinite quantity of pickled herring, anchovies and oysters. England received, among other products, 1,294,000 pounds of shrimps and 2,839,200 oysters.


—BELGIUM. Belgium, though on account of the fisheating proclivitioes of its population importing foreign fishery products in considerable quantity, had, in 1879, sea fisheries to the value of about $423,000, or nearly as important as the commercial fisheries of the state of New York. About one-fifth of thsi amount is credited to the cod fishery, in which were engaged 109 vessels. The remainder of the product results from the coast fisheries, for turbot, herring, skate, cod, shrimp, etc. The oyster fishery at Ostende yielded, in 1876, about 10,000 bushels, of which nearly half were sent to Germany. About $73,000 worth of oysters were exported from England in 1878, and about $15,000 worth of lobsters, of which 253,000 pounds came from France, and 210,000 from Norway.


—GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND. In 1877 England had 3,425 fishing vessels of over 13 tons, with a tonnage of 137,768 and 9,869 smaller sail boats and fishing boats of the second and third classes. Scotland had 2,940 first class, with tonnage of 51,089, and 10,629 smaller; Ireland 403, and the Isle of Man 254, first class vessels, with 5,819 and 134 respectively of smaller craft. In 1876 the number of men and boys in the Scotch fisheries was estimated at 45,890, the value of boats and gear at $5,703,514, while the Irish fisheries had 23,693 fishermen(15,840 being occasional fishermen). I can find no estimate of the number of men in the English fisheries, but it is to be inferred that the number can not be far from 50,000. This estimate gives an aggregate of fishermen for Great Britain and Ireland, of 120,000 men and boys; with 6,770 first class vessels and 26,317 smaller boats in 1877.


—The herring fishery in prosecuted in Scotland. England and Ireland. That of Yarmouth, the most important in England, employed, in 1877, 493 first class vessels and 509 of a smaller size, and yielded 132,000 lasts of fish, or 249,480,000 individual herring. There is a smaller herring fishery at Lowesoft. When England has learned the art from the Marine fishermen there will doubtless spring up an extensive sardine-canning industry, based upon the herring fishery. The herring fishery is by far the most important fishery of Scotland. In 1878, 905, 768 barrels, or perhaps 272,000,000 pounds, were salted, and the total catch may be estimated at fully 350,000,000 pounds. Ireland cures few herrings. exporting its fish in fresh condition to England or consuming them locally, an importing cured herring from Scotland. In 1876, 227,990,000 pounds. Ireland cures few herrings, exporting its fish in fresh condition to England or consuming them locally, and importing cured herring from Scotland. In 1876, 227,990,000 pounds were sent from Ireland to England, and the total product was doubtless much more than 350,000,000. The aggregate product of the herrings fisheries is probably not far from 800,000,000 to 900,000,000 pounds of fresh fish. The export of herring in 1876 amounted in value to $3,546,439.


—The cod fishery of England is located in the North sea, upon the Dodger bank and neighbouring shoals, the principal port interested being Grimsby. Few cod are salted, and the greater portion of the catch is kept alive in well smacks, and a reserve of living fish for market supply kept in live-cars at Grimsby. Harwich and elsewhere. From 15,000 to 20,000 cod are kept alive at one time at the former port in the height of the cod season. The cod fishery thus constitutes a part of the great fresh-market fishery of Great Britain, another most important branch of which is the trawl-net fishery for turbot, soles and other bottom-loving species. In 1879 there were from 1,700 to 1,800 trawling smacks working on the coasts of England, (1,300 of them in the North sea). with crews aggregating 9,000 men and boys. In 1877, 503 of these hailed from Grimsby, while a still larger number came from the four channel fishing ports of Brixham. Plymouth, Hull and Ramsgate. In 1877, 88,752,000 pounds of fresh fish were sent from Grimsby by rail. The catch of the other large fishing ports would probably bring the total up to at least 400,000,000, worth, perhaps, $16,000,000. The export of cod in 1877 was valued at $214,813.


—There is an important drift-net fishery for mackerel are yearly sent by rail from Plymouth and Penzance to London and elsewhere. This product is included in the total given above for the fresh fish business.


—Pilchards, too, are caught in drift nets and seines in immense quantities, on the coast of Cornwall, and of the late years these have been packed in oil and sold as "sardines", the sardines of the bay of Biscay being the same fish prepared in the same manner. 9.477 hogsheads of pickled pilchards were exported to Italy in 1877, and the total value of the pilchard export in that year was $93,034.


—Scotland, in addition to the "cod, ling, hake, sarthe (pollock)and tusk(cusk)," locally consumed in fresh condition, in 1877 produced 18, 720,000 pounds cured dry, and 861,900 cured in pickle, representing, perhaps, in all 58,000,000 fresh fish, and worth, perhaps. $1,160,000.


—Ireland has a fresh-market fishery of much importance, as may be judged from the fact that she sent to England, in 1876, 243,742,800 pounds of fresh fish, valued at $2,441,601, including in addition to the herring already mentioned, 15,930,000 pounds of mackerel and 11,013,800 pounds of cod.


—The export of salmon from Great Britain and Ireland amounted, in 1877, to $189,162. From 400,000 to 6,00,000 lobsters are annually imported from Norway, and about 200,000 more from France. In addition, large quantities are obtained from the south coast, while the value of the lobster fisheries of Scotland is estimated at $1,452,000.


—That the oyster fishery is failing is clear from the fact that the imports of oysters are yearly growing larger. In 1870, according to Lindeman, the value of oysters sold in London was $19,360,000. This estimate was doubtless based on retail prices. Exports in 1877 amounted to $121,227.


—In addition to the fisheries already mentioned there are extensive industries in the collection of mussels, whilks, periwinkles, prawns, whitebait and various minor products of the sea. No English authority has been so rash as to estimate the total value of the fisheries of Great Britain and Ireland. I hope I shall not be too severely criticized if I venture to express my belief that their total worth, whale and seal fisheries excluded, and local consumption counted in, will not fall below $40,000,000.


—FRANCE. Lindeman quotes the value of the fisheries of France in 1877 at $17,031,636, the number of men employed being 81,230, and the number of boats and vessels, 21,565. The fisheries of France, if this estimate be reliable, are fairly comparable to those located on the coast of the United States between Long Island and Cape Florida—the middle and southern Atlantic states, the product of that district being worth $18,269,506, the number of men employed exceeding 55,000 of vessels, 4,000, and of boats, 26,000. Another comparison, which it is proper to make, is between the fisheries of France and those of New England, together with those of New Jersey, The product of this group of six states amounts to $17,446,982, employing 34,497 fishermen, 2,716 vessels and 18,852 boats. France engages in distant sea fisheries to a great extent than any other European nation. Since the sixteenth century there has been an important French cod fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, supported by a liberal bounty from the government, which has always regarded this as its best school for mariners. The yearly expenditure for bounties amounts to $600,000 or $800,000. In 1877 this fishery employed 179 vessels, from the ports of St. Malo, Granville, St. Brieuc. Fécamp and Dieppe, with crews numbering 7,731 men. The headquarters of this fishery is at the French islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon on the south coast of Newfoundland. In 1876 the yield of this fishery was estimated at 35,200,000 pounces of codfish, worth about $1,750,000.*7. Another cod fishery is upon the coasts of Iceland. The vessels are smaller but more numerous, there having been in 1877,244, with 4,314men. Part of these vessels hail from the northern ports of Dunkerque and Fécamp: others from Granville and La Rochelle. The value of the Iceland fishery in 1876 was about $1,368,000. The coast fisheries of France in 1876 were valued at about $14,061,000, and employed over 68,000 persons. The most important fishery is perhaps that for sardines on the coast of Brittany. There is also an extensive shrimp fishery along the eastern extent of the coast, a tunny or "horse-mackerel" fishery both on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, a mackerel fishery in the gulf of Gascony, and shad, salmon, lamprey, mullet and eel fisheries at the mouths of the large rivers. In France, oyster culture is more successfully prosecuted than in any other country. From Sept. 1, 1875, to April 30, 1876, 237,000,000 of oysters were taken from the oyster parks. Their value is included in the figures already quoted.


—SPAIN. The Spanish sea fisheries are much less productive than formerly. The marine department of Ferrol yielded, in 1870, about 75,000,000 pounds of sea fish, valued at about $1,281,000. The n umber of fishing vessels was estimated at 6,153, the number of men 20,150. The most extensive fisheries were those of Vigo and Villaga Reia.


—PORTUGAL. From statements made by Prof. Bocage, it appears that the most important fisheries of Portugal are the sardine and funny fisheries, and that the total value of the sea fisheries is from three to four million dollars. The export of fishery products, in 1876, amounted to 19,000,000 pounds, worth $252,000, about 490,9000 pounds of which, worth about $57,500, was prepared tunny, and 9,000,000 sardines, worth about $153,000. Portugal imported, in 1876, about 34,000,000 of dried codfish, valued at $1,454,000. If these statistics of production are reliable, the fisheries of Portugal are fairly comparable in value with those of the state of Maine. It is however, more than probable that a careful census of the fisheries had never been taken, and that the fisheries of this country are far less important than the statement of Prof. Bocage would warrant us in believing.


—ITALY. In 1870 Italy had 30,848 fishermen, and 11,566 boats. As nearly as it is possible to estimate from the partial statistics available, the product is valued at about $1,216,000, and the fisheries are comparable in value to those of Delaware or of Rhode Island and Pennsylvania combined. The chief fisheries of Italy are sardines, tunnies, swordfish, precious coral and sponges. There are extensive fisheries for eels and other fresh-water fish in the great lagoons along the coast. The total exportation, in 1878, amounted to 88,000 pounds, valued at $629,000, and the importation to 97,000,000 pounds, valued at $4,147,000.


—AUSTRIA. The Austrain fisheries in the Adriatic, from April 23 to October 22, 1878, yielded $550,000. 2,796 boats were employed, and 10,973 men. The most important fisheries are for the sardelle, mackerel and anchovy. Many species of crustaceans are prized, as well as various snails mussels and oysters. The coral fishery on the Dalmatian coast yields about $4,500. The sponge fishery, 1874, employed about 200 men and 100 boats, and its product was valued at $9,000.


—GREECE and TURKEY. The only commercial fishery of Greece and Turkey appears to be that for sponges. There are no satisfactory data available for estimating its extent. Lindeman states that in 1876 two ports, Patras and Lyra, exported sponges to the value of at least $110,000.


—MALTA. According to Lindeman, Malta has 200 boats and 800 men employed in the fisheries. Their product is locally consumed.


—ALGIERS. Algiers, in 1877, had 4,330 fishermen, with 974 boats. The product was estimated to weigh 15,000,000 pounds, worth $512,000. The production of coral on the coast of Tunis and Algiers has been placed at $500,000. The export of fish pickled or preserved in oil, from Algiers, in 1876, amounted to 11,638,000 pounds. The sardine industry alone had, in 1877, 50 curing establishments, employing 386 men.


—TUNIS. The value of the fisheries is estimated at about $38,000, the principal exportable products being tunnies, cuttlefish and mullet roses. In addition to the regular fisheries there is coral fishing, and a sponge fishery which yields yearly from 220,000 to 295,000 pounds of sponges, valued at $110,000 to $130,000. The yield of cuttlefish amounts to about 130,000 pounds, worth perhaps, $20,000.


—TRIPOLI. Tripoli has about 40 boats, with 150 fishermen, and the value of its product, as reported to Lindeman by the British consul, Mr. Drum mond Hay, amounts to about $17,000, in addition to $150,000, the yield of the sponge fishery.


—AUSTRALIA. Queensland has an "Oyster fishery" at Morelin bay, yielding, in 1878, about $6,000, and in the same year exported pearl mussels and trepangs to the value of about $340,000. Victoria exported, in 1876, products worth about $123,000, and imported almost an equal amount. The city of Melbourne consumes yearly about $125,000 worth of fresh fish. In 1879 there were estimated to be 398 fishermen, and 261 boats. New South Wales imports great quantities of fish, chiefly from the United States: in 1876 the imports amounted to $800,000. The local fisheries are unimportant. South Australia offers no statistics. In the decade ending 1878, 50,000 bags of oysters were taken at Coffin bay. West Australia has a Pearl fishery of some importance. Tasmania has a small local fishery, and a whale fishery, valued at about $150,000. New Zealand also has a whale fishery, which employed, in 1877, 13 ships, of 3,525 tons, and yielded products worth about $200,000.


—EAST INDIES. British India has important local fisheries, and has an export trade of some extent in fish oil and shells. The pearl mussel fishery of Ceylon produced in 1877, 6,849,720 pearl oysters, valued at 189,011 rupees. There is also a valuable pearl oyster fishery in the Persian gulf. The Dutch East Indies have immense local fisheries. In 1872, 49,469 fishermen were recorded in Java and Madura alone. There are extensive captures of tortoise shell throughout the entire region. There is a very extensive and profitable fishery on the north coast of Java for the trepang or beche-de-mer, which is dried and exported to China. The Philippines have also immense local fishery interests. The most important exports are trepangs, pearl shells and sharks' fins, sent ot China.


—JAPAN has a fine salmon fishery, particularly in the n orth, and its markets are abundantly supplied with fresh and dried fish of local production.


—CHINA has a large coast population of fishermen. The immense inland population consume fishing products in greater quantity consume fishing products in greater quantity than can be supplied by the home industry, though the cuttlefish fishery of Ningpo alone employs 1,200 boats. The imports in 1878 amounted to at least $2,300,000. The pearl oyster fishery of the Pak-hoi archipelago yielded, in 1875 about $45,000.


—POLYNESIA. The islands of the Pacific produce considerable quantities of pearls, trepang and tortise shell, the value of which can not well be estimated.


—GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS. Usual "estimates" place the value of the fisheries of the world at $120,000,0000: but my "estimate" would be $225,000,000, upon the basis of the last fishery census of the United States.


—The nation most extensively interested in the fisheries is the United states with a product of $44,870,252; next, Great Britain, with $40,000,000 or more; then British North America, with $27,000,000; Russia with $22,000,000; France with $17,000,000; and Norway with $12,000,000.


—The number of active fishermen in North America may be estimated at 160,000; in Europe, at 520,000. It is needless to draw lengthy deduction. In the United States the yield to each man is about $435, in Canada, $413; in Great Britain, perhaps $330; Holland $240; Norway, $210; Denmark. Spain and Portugal, perhaps $100; and in Italy and Germany very much less, the fisheries being carried on with no capital, and little regularity. For more extended information upon the subjects discussed in this article, see Moritz Lindeman's Die Seefischereien in den Jahren, 1869-78, in whole No. 60 of "Petermann's Mittheilangen"; Holdsworth's article, Fisheries, in the Encyclopedia Britannica; Betram's Harvest of the Sea; the Reports of the Internationale Fischerei-Ausstelluny, Berlin, 1880; and reports of U.S. Fish Commission. Parts I-VI. An extended report on the fisheries of the United States, prepared by the Fish Commission and the Census Bureau, is now in press. For a discussion of the political aspect of the fisheries, see TREATIES, FISHERY.


Notes for this chapter

The statistics for this division are presented here with the statement what they are merely approximate, the final revision of figures for the gulf states not having yet been completed, (June 15, 1882)
This does not include the Alaska coast, nor the bays and founds of the general coast line, except Long Island sound.
This estimate is subject to revision.
See article by M.Ed. de Luze on "Les Peches times de Terre Neaveet d'Islands," in the Ba Letin de la Societé de Geographie Comerciale de Paris, Jane, 1879.

Footnotes for FRANCE

End of Notes

467 of 1105

Return to top