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Statistics of the fisheries of the United States in 1880-Continued. ·

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TENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE Boston Fish BUREAU, JANUARY, 1885.

REPORT.

OFFICE OF BOSTON Fish BUREAU,

Boston, January 1, 1885. The year which has just closed has proved one of general depression in all lines of trade; and when to this is added an unprecedented yield in all food products, a low range of values has been the rule. Fish and the fish trade has proved no exception. While to the producers or fishermen and those interested with them this has been productive of greater or less losses, still the distributors or dealers may be said to have enjoyed a fairly successful season. Working generally on low values the quantities moved have been large, and business in this line has been done with a fair share of profit. Low prices have encouraged consumption, which has taken off stocks as they have been placed on the markets, and with but few exceptions stocks are well reduced and fairly in hand for the coming season.

Beginning with large and successful Southern herring fisheries, we have had it followed by the most successful mackerel and codtish fisheries, as regards yield or product, that have ever been recorded. While the foregoing is true as pertains to the work of our New England fishermen, and in some lines to those of Nova Scotia, the Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and Labrador fisheries may be considered as partial failures.

In some lines the yield has been far below an average, but in the general heavy catch or production these shortages have been more than made up:

Mackerel.–The fleet engaged in this pursuit fitted and started at the usual time, and for a time the early catch was a fairly paying one.

The quality of the early caught fish was but ordinary and the size medium and small; the general run of the mackerel taken by our New England fleet was small, not more than one-quarter, at any time, being of good size; when in connection with this is taken the fact of one of the largest catches of mackerel ever known, it is not to be wondered at that prices should soon reach a point at which the fishermen were unable to find any profit in the business for themselves or those interested with them. This run of small fish appears to have extended along the Nova Scotia shores, the only points yielding large and fat fish being Prince Edward Island and bay fisheries. Notwithstanding the enormous yield of the fishery, prices have been well maintained and stocks are well reduced.

First sales of uninspected salt mackerel were at $10 for large and $4 for small per barrel, selling in June at $2.50, $5, and $6.50 without barrel for small, medium, and large; July $3.50 to $4 for mediums without barrel, and $7 to $7.50 for large; August, $3.75 to $5 cargo sales; September, $3 to $4 cargo sales; October, $3 to $4 cargo sales; November, 3's $3.25, 2's $7.124 to $8, l's $15 to $16 in fares; December, 3's $3.50 to $3.75, 2's $8.50, l's $15 in fares. The catch on the Nova Scotia shores and Prince Edward Island' has been much smaller than that of last year; first receipts from the island were on August 2, fish of good size, selling at $11. The general run of the fish from the island has been fair in size and they have ruled from $8 to $12 for unculled; $8 to $11.50 for No. 3's; $10 to $14 for No. 2's; and $13 to $17 for No. 1's during the

No stock has been carried over.

season.

Nova Scotia mackerel have been more like those taken by our own fishermen, as regards size and condition; but few fat mackerel from this source; large 3's have ruled from $6.50 to $8.50 during the season.

Codfish.-In this article we have to note a large yield, and consequently low prices have been the rule for the season. With a yield of 1,001,303 quintals of codfish alone, it might reasonably be expected that prices should seek a level with those of other food products in which the yield has been large.

At the beginning of the year prices ranged at $3.50 for large dry Bank and $3 for medium; $3.25 for large pickle-cured and $2.50 for medium per quintal, but at the close the same grades of fish were selling at $2.50 for large dry and $2 for medium; $2 for large pickle.cured and $2 for medium per quintal, which is below the cost of production. While the yield of codfish has been so heavy, that of hake has been much below an average, and but for the low prices ruling for codfish, their value would be much enhanced; they have been ruling during the season at $1.75 to $2.50 per quintal.

With a small catch of hake, that of pollock has increased. These fish have ranged from $2 to $3 for slack salted, $1.25 to $1.87} for heavy salted per quintal.

Owing to the low prices ruling, the consumption of dry fish has been largely increased.

Herring.-The early Southern fisheries were fairly successful, which, to a certain extent, has curtailed the outlet for many of the cheaper grades of pickled herrings from this way. The catch on our shores has been comparatively a light one. Receipts of Georges Bay and Dalhousie have been about the average, while that of the large Nova Scotia shore splits has run short; the catch of Labrailors has been almost a total failure; but 2,000 barrels received this year, as against upward of 25,000 barrels a year since.

Salmon and trout.-—The catch of these articles has been fully up to the average; prices have sympathized with other lines and have ruled low, showing some little improvement at the close, and but little stock is being carried over. Price on salmon has ruled from $10 to $13 for Northern and $11 to $12 for California mess; $9.50 to $13 for trout.

Box herring.–The receipts in this line, 793,244 boxes, have been way above the average for our market. Prices have ruled low and stock has been kept well reduced.

Blouters.-Supplies have been large, generally of good quality, ranging from 35 cents to $1.25 per box.

lladdies. This article of food appears to be steadily growing in favor with consumers, and the supply has been taken up readily as placed on the market, ranging froin 41 to 6 cents per pound.

Canned fish.-In this connection may be taken such goods as American sardines, an article rapidly taking its place along with mackerel, salmon, etc., as a staple with the trade.

Sardines.-Owing to the general low range of prices, this article has suffered also, and prices have been reduced to a point that has rendered it unprofitable for the packers. Still the pack has reached upward of 175,000 cases, mostly one-fourth oils. Price has ranged from $1.62 to $5.75 per case.

Canned mackerel.-In connection with this article, it is to be regretted that the packing in past seasons of poor goods should have tended to curtail the demand for what is one of the finest articles of canned food. The low prices now ruling, 70 to 75 cents per dozen, together with the improved quality of the goods, will reinstate it in public favor.

Canned lobsters. — The supply of this article has been light and prices have ranged from $1.40 per dozen at the opening to $1.85 at the close of the season.

The Washington ten-year treaty.—The Washington ten-year fishing treaty expires on July 1, 1885. We hope that some arrangement will be made by Congress, if possible, which will be agreeable to all parties interested and affected. The duty on imported fish products from July 1, at least until some action is taken upon same, will be as follows: Mackerel, 1 cent a pound; herring, pickled or salted, one-half cent per pound; salmon, pickled, 1 cent per pound: other fish pickled in barrels, 1 cent per pound. Foreign-caught fish imported, not in barrels or half barrels, whether fresh, smoked, dried, salted, or pickled, not especially enumerated or provided for in this act, 50 cents per 100 pounds. Anchovies and sardines packed in oil or otherwise in tin boxes, measuring not more than 5 inches long, 4 inches wide, and 31 inches deep, 10 cents per whole box; in half boxes, measuring not more than 5 inches long, 4 inches wide, and is deep, 5 cents each; in quarter boxes, measuring not more than 44 inches long, 3} inches wide, and 11 deep, 22 cents each; when imported in any other form, 40 per cent ad valorem. Fish preserved in oil, except anchovies and sardines, 30 per cent ad valorem. Salmon and all other fish prepared or preserved, and

prepared meats of all kinds not especially enumerated or provided for in this act, 25 per cent ad valorem. Oils, cod-liver, crude or refined seal, whale and fish oils, not elsewhere specified, 25 per cent.

It is easy for us at the close of the year to look back and see where we have made our mistakes, and miscalculated the contingencies of trade; at the same time it is well for us to study what we have been through and to lay out for the future line of action that which will enable us to avoid the mistakes of the past, and to build for the future, for ourselves and our city, a business which shall be enduring and profitable.

We can still point with pride to the fact that Boston still holds her proper place in the van as a distributer of the enormous yield of our fisheries.

In closing our report we hereby return thanks to our many correspondents and friends for the assistance which they have so freely given us in the past, and which we trust we shall continue to receive in the future. We return the result of the year's business with our best wishes.

Fish received by Boston dealers from foreign and domestic ports, 1884.

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818

Mackerel barrels.. 26 2,104 824 5,948 3,964 1,313 1,695 411 1,562 250 748 8, 957 Mackerel, Boston fleet,

inspected ....barrels.. Herrings:

Pickled. .do.... 38 6551 683 998 337 1,300 166 1,675 175 40 59 3, 604 Frozen ..do. 2,281 737 2, 892 2,112 4,471

850 Salmon.. ..do...

80 11

16

139
Alewives 1
..do...

408
100
198

162 414

62. 3, OSO Trout..

..do.. Shad

.do..
Herrings, smoked .boxes.. 5,836 7,841 18, 396 8,329 55,535 32, 300 13,637 51, 450 17,745 47,943 11, 435 291
Bloaters, smoked ...do.... 4,985 200 6,021 197 7,038 400
Boneless fish ..do..

1, 905
113 3, 132

811
479

791
Mackerel, canded..do.
Lobsters, canned....do..

376

723 Codtish .quintals.. 10,773 2, 111 17,030 3,261 12, 299 9, 229 5,173 1,422, 207 224 2,718 2,595 Hake..

.do....
7651 921 300

92

820 Haddock

.do...
40 150
113

56 Pollock. .do..

282 432

240 81 Cusk ..do...

148

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ports. Ő Foreign

Home
ports.

Foreign
ports.

Home ports.

Foreign ports.

270

1,053

Mackerel barrels.. 6,554 3,372 11,637 10,128 5,545 9,330 5,737 10,852 5,541 4,611 2,930 2,972 Mackerel, Boston fleet, inspected

......barrels.. Herrings: Pickled. .do....

4881 38 6,319 143 6,277 4,676 19, 949 1,019 9, 143 521 4,645 Frozen ..do.

485 1 Salmon..

.do..

201
612
118
361

45

267 Alewives 1 ..do..

891
218

200 1,043 Trout. .do.

590

396 Shad do.

220

92 Herrings, smoked.boxes.. 14, 820 13, 098 42, 501 57,685 16, 225 58, 13627, 293 23, 480 31,415 36, 912 49, 43561, 470 Blonters, smoked...do....

2,831 1,368 8,489 1,116 2,668 1, 209 Boneless tish ..do.. 283

8321
1,649
3,607

1,482 37 797 Mackerel, canned ..do... 174 1,300 3,315 75 3,311

5,708

200 Lobsters, canned.

2,964
2,267 673 5, 635

2, 437
1,152
804

80 Codfish .........quintals. . 6,614 5,250 3,429 11,323, 6, 444 9,90026, 267/22,90016, 791 4,806 12, 509 4,165 Hake..

.do...
123
733

858
500 1,900

8151 614 330 1,150 310 Haddock ..do...

12 col

292 401 386 496 126 96 392 Pollock.

396
102 1351

402 169 858 77 938 781 395 Cusk ..do... 28

414)
15

132

.do.

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1 The above includes 681 barrels smoked alewives received during April, May, and June.

Fish received by Boston dealers from foreign and domestic ports, 1884—Continued.

RECAPITULATION.

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164, 977

183, 175

Mackerel. barrels.. 36, 761 105, 7301
Mackerel, Boston fleet, bar-

| 173, 653 61,8501 (14, 186 | 37,616

196, 493 rels

201, 929 54, 002

||69, 669 Herrings

.barrels.. 26, 492 29, 310 55, 802 12,420 44,906 | 56,998 Alewives.

10,578 41, 978
...do.... 1,351 5, 682 7,033 2,184
Salmon

8, 101 10, 288 1,129
..do....
500

9,699
2, 332 2,892 980

1,997 Trout

2, 977 2,144 ..do...

1,690 698 698

1,147 Herrings, smoked...boxes. . 262, 482 118, 115 1-13, 597 337, 830 274, 592 612, 412 259, 799 449, 080

1, 147

1, 845 Bloaters, smoked.....do.... 20,003

20, 603 29, 619 810 30, 429 Cod..

30,551 5,066 quintals.. 124, 338 30,151 163, 489 125, 450 56, 852 182, 302 Hake

89, 297

50,578
..do..
.... 32, 222

8,810

41,032 41,021 Haddock

7,901 48, 922 .do....

29, 625 9, 434 9, 172 976 10, 148 5,792 Pollock

1,631 7, 423 2,288
do...

1,981
1, 523
2,762 4, 285

1,773 Cusk

3,020 4,793 950 ..do...

2, 120 1,362 187 1,519 1, 469 38 Shad

1,507 ..barrels..

1,594 104
1,975 1,975
Boneless fish

1, 152 26
boxes..
9,616

1, 245
54

9,700 14, 293 316 14, 606 11,333 197

52, 556 10, 828 3,834

1, 945 708, 879

35, 617 139, 875 39,059 4, 269 8, 076 1,698 1, 271 11,630

1, 152

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Mackerel
Mackerel, Boston fleet.
Herrings
Alewives
Salmon..
Trout..
Herrings, smoked
Bloaters, smoked
Cod.
Наkе.
Haddock
Pollock
Cusk
Shad.
Boneless fish.

barrels..
.....

do....
.do....
.do....

.do... .boxes..

do.. .quintals..

... .o. ..do..

do. ..barrels..

234, 040

24,944 104, 182 24, 669 1,962

84,659
10,050
3, 216

1,584
233, 547

3, 196 59,367 2,075 1,077 1, 108

93, 779
12, 775
4, 416

1, 584
467,587

28, 140 163, 519 26, 744 3,039 2, 449

676

394, 276

32,083
122, 251

7,413
1,290
1, 314

722

>179, 373 60,426 53, 033 62, 948

10, 281 1,803 1,883 991

994 398, 968 793, 244

4, 490 36,573 77,201 199, 455 2,017 9, 490 1,342 2,632 3, 191

4,535 15 737 320

1, 311

626

.boxes..

50 515 1,586

595 21, 654

320 150 16, 431

50 20,068

16, 281

Statement showing the number and tonnage of vessels of the United States employed in the

cod and mackerel fisheries June 30, 1883.

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Taken from the report of the Chief of the Bureau of Statistics on Commerce and Navigation.

Amount of inspected barrels, New England mackerel catch, packed at each port, as reported

to the Boston fish bureau, 1884.

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1 Whole or part of catch landed at other ports. Amount credited to each port is the amount packed there, regardless of catch of vessels hailing from there, which in many instances packed at other ports,

We find from a careful observation of facts that the shrinkage in packing amounts to about 20 pounds to the barrel, or 10 per cent. Inspectors and captains agree with us that this is fully enough to allow.

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