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Scotia mackerel have sold from $6 to $8 per barrel; Prince Edward Island mackerel from $6 to $15 per barrel. The first receipts from the island were on July 13.
Large bodies of mackerel were on the Labrador coast during the past season, and there is no doubt that if fishermen had been prepared and knew how to handle them there would have been some fish from that section. Some fine few lots received that were well handled proved of fine quality and sold for $17.50 per barrel; they were of large size and fat.
Herrings. As has been stated, the Potomac herring fishery was a good one as far as the taking of herrings went; prices ruled low. Owing to the fact that the cheaper grades of herring, such as Dalhousie and Georges Bay, of which in previous years we have received large quantities, would be almost entirely excluded by the duty of $1 per barrel, a great many more vessels were fitted out for shore herring fishery than usual, hoping to make up, as much as possible, the difference caused by the imposition of the duty. We estimate the last season's catch at from 25,000 to 30,000 barrels, which is an unusually large catch. They sold during the season at from $2 to $2.50 per barrel in cargo lots, according to contract. The frozen-herring industry, which is yet in its infancy, is developing rapidly. The principal fishing grounds are at Eastport, Grand Manan, New Brunswick, and Fortune Bay, Newfoundland. The receipts at Boston during the year 1885 were about 30,000 barrels, or 15,000,000 fish. These fish are used very extensively by the Georges Bank cod and haddock fishermen as bait during the winter season. Large quantities are also used for food purposes, being shipped in a frozen state nearly all over the United States, the first vessel to arrive here with a cargo of them for the season of 1884-85 being the Anna and Lilla, of Portland, from Eastport, with 150,000 fish, on December 18, 1884. The same vessel also brought the first cargo for the season of 1885-86, 200,000 fish, on December 17, 1885, from Eastport. They have been selling during the season at from 25 cents to $1.50 per hundred. The Georges Bay and Nova Scotia splits have been almost an entire failure. Dalhousie herrings have not been saved this season, as the fishermen could not pay the duty exacted. None have been received in the States the past year. Labrador herrings have been in good supply, and, as has been stated before, have sold from $3.75 to $4.75 per barrel, which seem like fair prices. Still, results to the fishermen have been poor.
Codfish. The catch shows a falling off of some 10 per cent, and prices for the season have hardly ruled with those of 1884. The range of prices has been $2.75 to $3.75 per quintal for large dry Bank, $2.50 to $3 per quintal for mediums, $2.50 to $3.50 for large picked Bank, and $2.50 to $3 for mediums. Catches of pollock and cusk have been light, while the catch of hake has been somewhat larger than for the previous season; yet it has not been large enough to be called an average catch. The shortages in these varieties have not been missed by the trade, owing to the large supplies of low-priced codfish.
Salmon and trout.-The catches of these articles have been fully up to the usual average, and prices have been advanced just about the duties over those of 1884, salmon ranging from $10 to $15 for Northern, $8 to $13 for California; trout, $8 to $10 per barrel.
Box herrings.-The receipts in this line show some little falling off, mainly from the provinces; prices have ruled lower than for 1884.
Bloaters.—Bloaters have been in good supply, demand fair, and prices have ruled from 40 to 90 cents per box. While our receipts give small amount as coming from foreign ports, more than one-half of entire receipts are from New Brunswick, entered and duty paid at Eastport. Same is also true of box herrings; over one-half of receipts from home ports are from New Brunswick.
Canned fish. The popularity of these goods is steadily increasing with the con
Canned mackerel.-As was to be expected, with care on the part of the packers, looking to the using of only good stock in its preparation, the season just closed has proved that the packers have not secured all the stock required by the trade. Prices have ranged from 75 cents to $1 per dozen, and stocks have gone out quite clean. Canned lobsters.-There has been a fair pack of this article. The opening price was $1.60 per dozen, but it has hardly been maintained, and sales at the close of the year were at $1.50 per dozen.
Sardines.-While the catch of fish suited to the packing of these goods has been a light one during the past season, prices have been well maintained and have, no doubt, left fair margins of profit to the packers. The outlet for these goods is steadily increasing.
Fresh fish.-Although we have never attempted to tabulate the statistics of the enormous quantities of fresh fish handled at Boston, we have, during the past year, taken account of the receipts of fresh mackerel, which amount to 43,843 barrels,
received from the fleet direct and from the Cape Cod weirs. There were 6,848 barrels forwarded by rail and boat from New York, and 2,964 barrels imported from the vicinity of Yarmouth and Barrington, Nova Scotia. There are now about thirty-five vessels hailing from Boston which are engaged in the fresh cod, haddock, and halibut fisheries. These thirty-five, however, form but a very small proportion of the whole number of vessels actively engaged in supplying Boston market with fresh fish, a great many vessels from Gloucester and other ports landing fish here as well, the amount of fresh cod, haddock, and halibut landed at T Wharf alone during the year 1885 being 25,510,000 pounds, according to official figures given our agent. There are no reliable statistics which can be given of the large quantities of bluefish, salmon, smelts, etc., with which our market is supplied during their respective seasons.
We tender the result of the year's business with our best wishes, and return to our many correspondents and friends our sincere thanks for the assistance which has been so readily given us in the past, and of which we would ask a continuance. F. F. BURGESS, Secretary.
Fish received by Boston dealers from foreign and domestic ports, 1885.
255 4, 170, 68
.boxes..11, 248 13, 169 20, 050 38,000 13, 871 41, 835 42, 926 68, 212 41, 180 31, 700 33, 300 64,500 .do.. 4,603 60 11,315
..quintals.. 15, 445 1,658 11, 802 1, 428 19, 583 1,919 3, 731
78 6,622 5, 269
.barrels.. 7,572 1,225 13, 471 1,029 14, 362 3,912 7,533 10, 174 5,780 5,650 1,737 1,427
Mackerel fleet, inspected,
41 2,254 9,502 7,168 6,674 2,859 5,382
897 1,765 1,676 50
46, 255 13, 615 51, 296 20, 490 61, 286 26, 912 9, 15019, 185 1,619 345 3,572 310 4,337
1,811 4,366 40 514 1,929 250 848 343 97 538 1,780 25 4,570 30 2,832 2,493 373
Codfish.........quintals.. 5,879 144 9,592 5,266 26, 828 15, 018 19,509 9,314 7,513 12, 16311,969 3,788
2,358 88 5,051
167 256 153
Statement showing the number and tonnage of vessels of the United States employed in the cod and mackerel fisheries June 30, 1885.
Taken from the annual report of the Commissioner of Navigation.
Amount of inspected barrels New England mackerel catch packed at each port as reported to the Boston fish bureau, 1885.
Amount credited to each port is the amount packed there, regardless of amount of catch of vessels hailing from there, which in many instances packed at other ports.