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AMERICAN FISHERY INTERESTS.

FREE FISH.

Q. Then, if the duty does not affect the prices of fish to the consumer, what is your objection to opening our markets to the Canadians and allowing them to bring in their fish free?-A. Well, I believe that New England is sutliciently equipped now so that we can furnish this country with all the fish it wants. I believe if you open this market free to the Canadians it will encourage them to increase the number of their fishermen. They, of course, can feed their men cheaper than we can, and as a general thing they can catch their fish cheaper than we can; and if they come into this market free it is going to have some effect upon the amount of fish we bring in. I believe this is an industry that is worth protecting. Here are millions of dollars invested in this business, and I believe New England is entirely able to furnish all the fish required, and so I don't believe we ought to do anything whereby we will increase an industry to foreigners at the expense of our own people. You can see that the materials entering into the construction of their vessels cost so much loss with them than with us, and their manner of living is so much less costly; and taking everything into consideration, with the tariff of duties that we have to pay upon everything that enters into the construction of our vessels, it would seem to me to be impossible for us to compete with them if they had the privilege of bringing their fish in here free. It would have a tendency to increase their fleet. For the last eight or ten years their fleet has actually increased about 33 per cent and ours has fallen off. Of course there has been a cause for this.

FISHERY BUSINESS OF GLOUCESTER AND PORTLAND. Q. That was under the influence of the treaty of 1871?-A. Yes, sir. This is a very large business. You have been to Gloucester and have seen the extent of it there. We consider ourselves second in the fish business, and year before last we came, I think, within 8,000 barrels of taking as many mackerel as they did at Gloucester. We took 101,000 and they 109,000.

DUTY ON SALT FISH.

By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. Have any Canadian salt fish come to Portland within a year?-A. Yes, sir; most every month they come here.

Q. Both mackerel and cod?--A. Both mackerel and cod.

Q. Who do you think bears the duty that is paid on cod now? Does it fall on the Canadian shipper, or fisherman, or does it fall on the wholesale dealer who buys it of the Canadian?-A. I think it falls on the one who brings it here.

COD AND MACKEREL FISHERIES OF MAINE.

By Senator Frye: Q: How many fishing vessels do you think there are in Maine engaged in the mackerel and cod fisheries?-A. I estimate, from my best knowledge, taking all there are in the fishing business, perhaps 600 sail.

Q. They average about how many men to a vessel?-A. Ten.
Q. Do not yours average more than 10?--A. Yes, sir; I was taking small ones and

Our mackerel catchers will average about 15 or 16.

all.

NATIONALITY OF FISHERMEN, Q. What proportion of your men are American citizens? I do not mean born here.-A. Take our mackerel catchers, and I think that I can safely say that seveneighths of them belong here in Maine. Our cod fishermen may be somewhat different, because we have some that come from Nova Scotia to ship in our vessels; still, when they come here a great many of them remain and become citizens. Our mackerel fishery is more in the hands of our own people.

Q. What kind of sailors are these?-A. Good sailors; no better. I think I have got vessels that haven't a single man on them but American.

FREE FISH.

Q. What, in your judgment, would be the effect of a treaty giving our markets free to Canada for fifteen or twenty years?-A. I think the business would have to be a bandoned by Americans.

Q. Where would the fishermen go?-A. They would go to Nova Scotia. You would find that the fish would become a luxury, instead of cheap food, as they are The WITNESS. Our market free to them? Senator FRYE. Yes. A. Not anything. I can't see anything that they have to give us to offset the advantage they would gain by a free market here.

Q. Do you know anything that would be valuable to the Maine fishermen that could form the basis of a treaty with Canada reciprocal in its character?-A. I do not.

VESSELS AND OUTFITS.

Q. What does your outfit cost?

The Witness. That is, just the provisions, you mean, or the barrels, salt, and everything?

Senator FRYE. Take the whole outfit.
The WITNESS. The seines, too?
Senator FRYE. Leave them out. The fitting out you make for a voyage.

A. For a Bank trip they might cost, taking the dories, the salt, bait, and lines, $1,200.

Q. And does that include provisions?–A. Yes; I think $1,200 to $1,500 would perhaps cover the whole.

Q. How would the Canadian outfit compare with yours in cost?-A. I can not say. Q. You do not know?-A. Only what I gather from what I have heard.

Q. You may state from the best information you have from fishermen.-A. From the best information I have from fishermen they can fit a great deal cheaper than we can; they live differently.

Q. More cheaply?-A. Yes, sir. We are a sort of progressive people, and even the fishermen want the best there is, so that we have to fit our vessels with the very best possible.

PROVISIONS.

Q. What do you put on board your fishermen for food?-A. The same almost as we have at hotels.

Q. Coffee and tea?-A. Yes, sir; and pork. When they live at home they live off the market; when they get in off a trip they generally go to market for fresh food, vegetables, etc. Some even take condensed milk, tamarinds, apples, and everything of that kind.

COMPENSATION OF FISHERMEN.

Q. On what terms do your vessels engage in fishing?-A. They sail on what we call half-line; that is, the owners of the vessels furnish the vessel with everything required to catch tish, and the crew have one-half the proceeds of the fish, and out of their half they pay the cook's wages and one-half the bait bill.

Q. When do they get their pay?-A. As soon as the fish are sold. For instance, if a vessel comes in to-day with mackerel, just as soon as they are sold the crew, as a general thing, are settled with; or, if they leave before the mackerel are sold, they are settled with when they return.

Q. Are they paid in cash?-A. They are.

Q. Do you know whether or not the Canadian fishermen are paid out of stores?A. I am told that they live out of the stores altogether.

EFFECT OF DUTY UPON THE CONSUMER.

Q. When your vessels come in they sell their cargoes of fish to the wholesaler, do they?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. And then what becomes of them?-A. If they are codfish, they are cured and put into the market, and then they are shipped all over the country. Our mackerel are packed rearly for market, and then they are shipped all over the country.

Q. Do you deal to any extent in fresh fish?-A. Not any.

Q. What, in your opinion, is the effect of the present duty upon the price of fish to the consumer?-A. It has no effect whatever.

Q. If there is any effect, it is between the fisherman and the wholesaler?-A. Yes, sir; I do not think the consumer has to pay any more with duty than he would without

Q. Have you ever noticed that the duty had increased, or that the absence of duty has decreased the price of fish to the consumer during the last fifteen years?-A. I don't know that the duty has anything to do with it whatever. In fact, it is strange that salt fish were never so low as they are at the present time, with the duty on.

FREE FISH.

Q. Then, if the duty does not affect the prices of fish to the consumer, what is your objection to opening our markets to the Canadians and allowing them to bring in their fish free?-A. Well, I believe that New England is sufficiently equipped now so that we can furnish this country with all the fish it wants. I believe if you open this market free to the Canadians it will encourage them to increase the number of their fishermen. They, of course, can feed their men cheaper than we can, and as a general thing they can catch their fish cheaper than we can; and if they come into this market free it is going to have some effect upon the amount of fish we bring in. I believe this is an industry that is worth protecting. Here are millions of dollars invested in this business, and I believe New England is entirely able to furnish all the fish required, and so I don't believe we ought to do anything whereby we will increase an industry to foreigners at the expense of our own people. You can see that the materials entering into the construction of their vessels cost so much loss with them than with us, and their manner of living is so much less costly; and taking everything into consideration, with the tariff of duties that we have to pay upon everything that enters into the construction of our vessels, it would seem to me to be impossible for us to compete with them if they had the privilege of bringing their fish in here free. It would have a tendency to increase their fleet. For the last eight or ten years their fleet has actually increased about 33 per cent and ours has fallen off. Of course there has been a cause for this.

FISHERY BUSINESS OF GLOUCESTER AND PORTLAND.

Q. That was under the influence of the treaty of 1871?-A. Yes, sir. This is a very large business. You have been to Gloucester and have seen the extent of it there. We consider ourselves second in the fish business, and year before last we came, I think, within 8,000 barrels of taking as many mackerel as they did at Gloucester. We took 101,000 and they 109,000.

DUTY ON SALT FISH. By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. Have any Canadian salt fish come to Portland within a year?-A. Yes, sir; most every month they come here.

Q. Both mackerel and cod?—A. Both mackerel and cod.

Q. Who do you think bears the duty that is paid on cod now? Does it fall on the Canadian shipper, or fisherman, or does it fall on the wholesale dealer who buys it of the Canadian?-A. I think it falls on the one who brings it here.

COD AND MACKEREL FISHERIES OF MAINE.

By Senator FRYE: Q. How many fishing vessels do you think there are in Maine engaged in the mackerel and cod fisheries?-A. I estimate, from my best knowledge, taking all there are in the fishing business, perhaps 600 sail.

Q. They average about how many men to a vessel?–A. Ten. Q. Do not yours average more than 10?-A. Yes, sir; I was taking small ones and all. Our mackerel catchers will average about 15 or 16.

NATIONALITY OF FISHERMEN.

Q. What proportion of your men are American citizens? I do not mean born here.-A. Take our mackerel catchers, and I think that I can safely say that seveneighths of them belong here in Maine. Our cod fishermen may be somewhat different, because we have some that come from Nova Scotia to ship in our vessels; still, when they come here a great many of them remain and become citizens. Our mackerel fishery is more in the hands of our own people.

Q. What kind of sailors are these?-A. Good sailors; no better. I think I have got vessels that haven't a single man on them but American.

FREE FISH.

Q. What, in your judgment, would be the effect of a treaty giving our markets free to Canada for fifteen or twenty years?--A. I think the business would have to be abandoned by Americans.

Q. Where would the fishermen go?-A. They would go to Nova Scotia. You would find that the fish would become a luxury, instead of cheap food, as they are

i

now, for it is almost impossible for us to get along now. In fact, the duties are not as high as they ought to be. There ought to be a change made in some way, it seems to me, because the duty of $2 has not a sufficient effect in keeping them out.

Q. The duty is very low?--A. Very low. Fixty-six cents a quintal is a small object, of course, but it is not enough to pay for the difference that we have to have between our methods of fitting and furnishing our vessels and theirs.

FRESH FISH.

Q. Has the market for fresh fish been increasing very heavily?-A. Very much.

Q. Have you noticed that it has had any effect on the market for salt fish?-A. Perhaps it may have had some little effect, but, still, all the fish that are caught are sold after awhile.

Q. Have not the methods of preserving fish fresh and putting them upon the markets changed entirely within the last ten or fifteen years?--A. They have entirely.

FROZEN FISH.

Q. They are now taken in refrigerator cars, after having been frozen, and transported all over the country?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. So that our fish may be preserved by freezing or by being packed in ice almost as well as by being cured?-A. They can be preserved a long time. I suppose they can be carried a fortnight, and I don't know but longer, and by a certain process they can be preserved a year, in the ice refrigerators.

Q. If a cargo of fish comes in and is entered at Portland is there any difficulty about transporting them to the city of Lewiston and there having them all cured? A. None at all.

Q. So that the law is very easy to be evaded?—A. Yes, sir.

DUTY.

Q. What, in your opinion, ought to be done as to fresh fish?-A. I don't know as I am prepared to say; perhaps others know more about that than I do.

Q. I mean as to the imposition of a duty?-A. I think there ought to be a duty upon fresh fish.

Q. That is, upon fish landed in a frozen condition?-A. Yes; certainly. They are really as much preserved as salt fish.

EXPORTATION OF FISH.

Q. Do you export any fish?-A. We do, some. That is done mostly through commission merchants. The fish go to the West Indies principally. We make a great many of our fish for export.

Q. Is there any country to which you export fish in which you are not met with duty?-A. We do not do enough of that business to be acquainted with it.

CLOSE SEASON.

Q. I want to ask you your own opinion, and the opinion of the Maine fishermen, as to a close season?-A. I am glad you asked me about that. I am sure that is the only salvation for the mackerel business. I can assure you that unless there is something done to protect the fisheries in the early part of the season it will only be a few years until the mackerel business will be a thing of the past.

Q. Why?--A. Because taking the fish in their spawning season destroys them. Not only that, but taking a fleet of vessels and going into a school of fish must, of course, drive them away; the larger fish go offshore and seek some other place. For instance, I sometimes believe that the cause of there being so many fish in the Canadian waters this year is on account of our fleet of 180 sailing vessels going south and scattering them and driving them away, really chasing them.

Q. Do you think those mackerel are good for anything to eat when they are carrying spawn?-A. Not when they are carrying spawn.

Q. When they deposit their spawn they go deeper, do they not, so that you can not take them?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. So that in the months of April and May, in your opinion, they are not fit to eat?--A. They are not; they are very poor; they are not fit for an article of food, although they are carried to New York in abundance and eaten. Still, I do not believe they are fit to eat; and not only that, but I believe every one of those fish you catch is destroying a better fish, and in fact destroying thousands of fish.

HABITS OF MACKEREL.

By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. What time do the mackerel first appear on this coast?–A. About the first or middle of June.

Q. Do they spawn after they get here?-A. As a general thing, I don't think they do. There may be a few exceptions, but, as a general thing, I think the fish spawn previous to June.

Q. Do you think they spawn farther south?-A. Farther south, yes.

Q. Do you believe that the fish that were found off Hatteras last March, for instance, and so along up the coast off Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, and and off Block Island, are the same ones?—A. I do.

By Senator FRYE: Q. What do

you

understand to be the opinion of the mackerel fishermen of Maine as to this question of a close time?-A. I believe that I could get ninety-nine out of one hundred to say that this is one thing that ought to be done, to make a close season. I am sure that this is the opinion of the great majority of all fishermen in Maine.

Q. Is that early fishing conducted by any fishermen except those of Maine and Massachusetts?-A. No, sir.

Q. None in New York?-A. None in New York.
Q. And none farther south?-A. None farther south.

By Senator EDMUNDS:
Q. Do those fish spawn in the Gulf of St. Lawrence?-A. I don't think they do.

Q. You think when they are first found in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is after they have finished their spawning?-A. Yes, I think so.

THREE-MILE LIMIT. By Senator FRYE: Q. Have any of your vessels met with any difficulty down there?-A. Not any.

Q. They have been within the 3-mile shore line?-A. I presume not. We have had two or three there fishing, but we gave them instructions not to fish within the 3 miles, and I presume they have not.

Q. Have you pursued any mackerel fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence?
The WITNESS. This year?
Senator FRYE. Yes.
A. We had three or four vessels this year.
Q. Did they fish within 3 miles of the shore line?-A. They say they did not.
Q. Was there any necessity for doing so?--A. No, sir.
Q. Were there any other Portland fishermen up there?-A. Some.

Q. Did they fish within that limit?-A. I don't think they did; I think they all had instructions to avoid it. Even if they had desired to fish so near shore, the water is so shallow that they could not do it with safety.

Q. With seines?-A. No, sir; not with seines. That is about all the way it is done now.

CLOSE SEASON.

By Senator SAULSBURY: Q. What would be the effect upon the consumers of fresh fish if we were to have a close season? Do you suppose they could procure any other fish as cheap as those?-A. I should think it would give the people of the South a much better chance to market their shad caught off the Jersey coast.

Q. I understood you to say that there was a large quantity of fresh fish caught in the spring and consumed in New York and at other points.-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Of course they are consumed by the poorer classes of the city and surrounding country? I say, can they find anything else as a substitute so cheap as those?-A. I think so.

I think other fish are as plentiful as those. The shad caught on the Jersey shore would have a better market, and the codfish and haddock, which they catch there are abundant. I don't see why they couldn't find a substitute. It is not always you know that they are cheap. For instance, last year mackerel were quite high there; they were scarce for a time, and there were not so many carried in as there were the year before. The year before they were brought in in abundance, and I have been told there were more destroyed than eaten. That is where the difficulty is, destroying so many in the schools.

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