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vessels and dealers. Through its use fresh fish are now shipped at all seasons of the year as far inland as Chicago.

As far back as we find any record of the fishing business we find the use of nets of some kind in taking the catch. In past years those used by the New England fishermen were mostly “home made." During the winter or stormy season the fisherman, with wife and family, found plenty of work in making nets. Of late yeare their use in the various branches of the fisheries has largely increased. They are now nearly all factory made of a great variety, including the fine flax-thread net of the shad fishery, the larger purse seine of the mackerel and menhaden catch, the large drag nets of the Southern fisheries, as well as numerous other varieties.

Two large factories in this city give employment to some 500 persons, mostly girls, furnishing most of the seines and nets used on the Western lakes and rivers, as well as the Atlantic coast fisheries, with some demand for export. The first factory in Boston was started in 1812; from that date until 1865 the nets were all hand made. In the latter year machinery was first introduced in their manufacture in this city, and is now almost exclusively used. We have briefly alluded to the various home branches of the fishing industry. Another branch largely represented in Boston is that of the provincial catch sent to the Boston market for sale. Our tables of monthly receipts will show the amount of the past year, which is less than the average of late years, caused by the partial failure of their catch. The earliest record of the importation of mackerel that we find is of 7 barrels in 1821. From that date up to 1831 only a few hundred barrels were annually imported; in the latter year 4,552, increasing up to 1841 to 10,887; from that year until 1819 the records were destroyed by fire. In the latter year it had increased to 138,505 barrels, and yearly from that date from 50,00) to 100,000 barrels of mackerel, with a large amount of all the other varieties of fish caught in the provinces find a ready market in Boston.

The late Capt. T. J. Jones is credited with being one of the first pioneers in the importation of fish from the Provinces, being engaged as master of the Boston and Halifax mail packet from 1834 until 1844. He early introduced the importation or fish and lived to see his efforts grow into a large and important branch of the business

Report.1881.

OFFICE OF BOSTON Fish BUREAU, 176 ATLANTIC AVENUE,

Boston, January 2, 1882. Our last annual report, showing a more prosperous condition of the fisheries than for a number of years, was closed with the “hope that the record of the coming season's business may be more favorable than the one just ended.”. We are pleased to open this report by calling attention to the tables attached, which speak for themselves, and show that the hope then expressed has been fulfilled, and the season of 1881 may justly be placed on record as the most successful one for years. The statistics of monthly receipts also show quite an increase of business by Boston dealers, and that this market has at all times heen well supplied with nearly every variety of cured (salt-water) fish, taken in New England and provincial waters. That this iact is appreciated by the tra le is evident in the steady gain of business, as shown in the table of receipts for the past five years.

There is probably no industry with like capital and number of persons engaged that yearly shows as great a loss of life and property. With no severe gales or storins, the past season yet shows considerable loss, and this must be recorded as the dark side of an otherwise prosperous year. The losses, as usual, nearly all fall on the bankers from Gloucester, that port losing seven sail, with 43 men, the value of vessels and property $19,800, on which there was insurance of $20,493. The loss of life from other ports included aggregates a total of 50 men, while the loss of property has been limited to damaged sails and numerous seine boats.

The number of sail, catch, and persons employed in the cod fish and mackerel fishery vary but little from that of 1880; the catch reported by them in the aggregate, as well as individual vessels, shows a favorable gain. The catch has found a ready market at all seasons, with higher prices than for several years. Much encouragement is felt for the future, and from all sides we hear of active preparations for the business of 1882, with some addition to the number of sail, a number of which are new vessels.

Mackerel.-The catch opened unusually early, schooner Edward E. Webster on March 22 taking the first fare, 32,700 mackerel, 800 of which were large, balance medium and small

. The first fare of new salt mackerel arrived in Boston May 9, one day earlier than in 1880, schooner Roger Williams landing 240 barrels that were caught off the Jersey coast. May 10, schooner J. S. McQuinn arrived with the first fare of fresh mackerel, 200 barrels caught southeast from Sandy Hook. First cargo arrived fresh same date in 1880. May 4 the first catch was made in the weirs at Cape Cod; previous year on April 26. March 25, schooner Lizzie K. Clark was capsized by a squall and lost, 20 miles from Barnegat; the crew were saved. This was the only mackerel vessel lost during the season. Although the season opened early the catch up to June was mostly taken South and sold fresh. The catch of cured mackerel reported at this office during the season, up to November, was as follows: May

barrels.. 1,670 June

..do.... 38, 683 July

..do.... 81, 748 August

..do.... 70, 424 September.

..do.... 71, 643 October

...do.... 57, 268 A light catch in November brought the season to an early close, the total catch of the New England fleet, 298 sail, being 391,657 barrels, of which 269,495 were packed and inspected in Massachusetts, a gain in the Massachusetts inspection of 19,534 barrels over 1880. This amount has been exceeded but five times in seventy-eight years.

As will be noticed, the catch off the New England coast opened a little later than usual, and continued good all the season, with the exception of 470 barrels the entire catch being taken off the United States coast. The size and quality were of an average, with more No. 1's, and an absence of the very small, or No. 4. The price opened low, the first sale recorded being at $4.50 a barrel for large, $3.75 for medium, falling off in June to $4 for packed, or early 3's; inspected 3's, 2's, and l’s selling through the season as follows: July, $3.25, $3.50 for 3's; $5.25, $5.50 for 2's. August, $3.25, 3's; $5, 2's. September, $4.25, 3's; $6.50, 2's; $16, l's. October, $6, $8 to $9, $18. November, $6.50, $9, $19. December, $7.50, 3's; $9 to $10, 2's; $20, l's.

The catch in provincial waters being a failure, our imports show a falling off of 43,880 barrels. Fortunately very few American vessels visited them, securing only 470 barrels; they returned home in season to make a good record.

Codfish, with which we may include the other varieties of ground fish, have been of an average catch, both off the New England coast as well as the Grand and Western Banks. The receipts in this market show quite a gain over the past few years. A steady increased home demand, with an average export shipment, has held prices firm at an advance of $1 to $1.25 a quintal over the previous year. Vessels that went to the Grand Banks made long voyages, yet generally returned with full fares, some exceptionally large, of which we notice schooner Willie McKay, of Provincetown, with 3,700 quintals, making a stock of $14,000.

Herring.The shore catch of herring being much less than that of 1880, our domestic receipts show a decrease, which is made up from the Provinces; the total receipts show a slight gain.

Salmon.-A failure of the catch in provincial waters accounts for small receipts, the decrease having been made up by receipts from California, our receipts showing a small gain.

Box herring.--The receipts, 612,422 boxes, are an increase of 168,825 boxes over that of 1880, and the largest on record. Large as this amount is it has all gone into consumption, and no stock remains on the market.

Other varieties of fish are without special change; with but few exceptions the receipts have been in excess of last year.

Fresh fish.This branch of the fish business of Boston is now of considerable importance, annually handling some 30,000,000 pounds of fresh fish, and during the past year 70,000 barrels of fresh mackerel and 18,000 barrels of frozen herring. The catch has been an average one, at nearly all times supplying a demand from all parts of the country, as far west as Chicago, for the numerous varieties of salt-water fish found in these waters. The vessels and men engaged in this branch do not appear in our statistics.

Canned fish. We have previously alluded to this branch of the business of its commencement in the country. Until the past few years this market has been supplied with large quantities of goods packed at other ports, many of the factories being owned here. During the past two years the business of packing has been largely increased in this city. During the past season, of fresh mackerel, about 50,000 cases, or 2,200,000 1-pound cans, have been packed, and much of the time the demand has not been supplied. This branch of the business, buying and packing several hundred barrels a day, when the fish can be procured, is of much value to the vessels that give their attention to selling fresh. It is also of value in giving employment to large numbers of employees in the factories. Nearly all the usual varieties of fish found in our markets are now more or less packed in tin cans by our packers, all of which are meeting with favor and a constantly increasing demand.

Foreign imports and exports.–Our monthly table of receipts will show that this city continues to be a leading market for the fish productions of the Provinces. During the past year the receipts in most cases show a decrease, caused by the partial failure of the provincial catch,

Our foreign exports have been of an average amount. As long as the domestic demand yearly increases, the want of large exports to dispose of the catch is not felt, as in past years.

As we close our report we wish to return our thanks to our numerous correspondents that have, from time to time, furnished us with information, and at the close of the season aided us in giving a complete record of the business by ports. We shall be happy to return the favor and do all in our power to aid the New England fishing industry.

W. A. WILCOX, Secretary.

Large catches and stocksby the mackerel fleet in New England waters, season of 1881. New England fleet catch of codfish as reported to the Boston Fish Bureau, 1881.

Name of vessel and home port.

Barrels
cured.

Amount of

stock.

...

Schooner Alice, Swang Island, Me.1
Schooner Edward E. Webster, Gloucester, Mass.”
Schooner Isaac Rich, Swans Island, Me
Schooner Frank Butler, Boston..
Schooner A. E. Herrick, Swans Island, Me.3
Schooner Robert Pettis, Wellfleet, Mass
Schooner Roger Williams, North Haven, Me.
Schooner R. J. Evans, Harwichport, Mass
Schooner Louise and Rosie, Boothbay, Me.
Schooner Mertie and Delmar, South Chatham, Mass
Schooner Bertie Pierce, North Haven, Me..
Schooner en Dale, or Haven, Me
Schooner Oasis, North Haven, Me..
Schooner Cora Smith, North Haven, Me.
Schooner Lottie Hopkins, North Haven, Me.
Schooner David Brown, North Haven, Me.
Schooner Dictator, Harwicbport, Mass
Schooner A. H. Whitmore, Deer Isle, Me.
Schooner Miantonomoh, Newburyport, Mass.
Schooner F. M. Loring, Cohasset, Mass.
Schooner Daniel J. Marey, Portsmouth, N. H.
Schooner Mary Snow, Provincetown, Mass
Schooner Lizzie Thompson, Newburyport, Mass.
Schooner G. W. Brown, Newburyport, Mass
Schooner Alaska, Southport, Me.
Schooner Emma 0. Curtis, Provincetown, Mass.
Schooner American Eagle, Provincetown, Mass.
Schooner Longwood, Provincetown, Mags.
Schooner Alice, Boston
Schooner Eddie Pierce, Boston
Schooner Neponset, Boston.

4, 905 $28,055. 23
4,500

26,570.00 3, 276 15,500.00 2, 600 15,000.00 2, 280 13,674.00 2,500

12,419. 18 2, 150

12,000.00 3,000

12,000.00 3,028 11,557. 46 3,005

14, 138.00 11,000.00

11,500.00 42, 300

11,000.00 11,000.00 6,000.00

6,000.00 2, 160 10,050.00 2, 075 10,150.00 2,000

9, 960.00 1,638

9, 101.00 1,900 8, 100.00 1,602 7,825,00 1,550

7,600.000 1,210

5,750.00 1,255

6,053.00 1, 225

Not reported. 1, 150

Not reported. 1, 125 Not reported. 2,004 Not reported. 2,079

Not reported. 2, 100

10, 800.00

13,665 barrels pickled, and 1,210 barrels fresh; total, 1,905 barrels.
91,600 barrels pickled, and 2,900 barrels fresh; totul, 4,500 barrels.
8 The Herrick did not sail until July 22.
4 Average barrels each.

Ports.

Other ground fish

included.

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Massachusetts:

Beverly.
Chatham
South Chatham.
Dennisport
South Dartmouth.
Fairhaven
Gloucester
Harwich
Kingston
Marblehead.
Provincetown
Plymouth..
Rockport

Total
New Hampshire:

Portsmouth
Maine:

Boothbay
Bucksport..
Bremen
Calais.
Deer Isle..
Eastport
Georgetown.
Hancock,
Harpswell
North Haven
Lamoine
Orland.
Portland.
Swans Island
Southwest Harbor
Southport..
Sedgwick
Vinalhaven..

9,000

5,000

14,000

3,500

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Total......
Total New England
fleet:

1881
1880

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1 Amount credited to each port is the amount landed there, vessels from this port landed at other ports, and vessels from other ports landed at this one. Halibut feet included in number of sail their catch, 7,093, 400 pounds

S. Doc. 231, pt 5-5

New England catch of mackerel-amount of inspected barrels packed at home ports, as

reported to the Boston Fish Bureau, 1881.

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1 Numerous vessels from other ports included.
? Part of the catch landed at Boston and Portland. Amount given packed at home port.

None packe i at home port.
The shore Beet mentioned above are only the vessels that fished nowhere else; to which may be
added the Southern and North Bay fleets after they returned from their unsuccessful cruise in those
Waters, making the total shore fleet 298 sail.

Fish received by Boston dealers, 1878 to 1881.

1878.

1879.

Fish.

Domestic
receipts.

Foreign
receipts.

Total,

Domestic
receipts.

Foreign
receipts.

Total.

78,689

84, 213

31, 881
32, 155
22,810
4,014

42, 300
3,117
3,906

203
171,508

33,818
49, 413
26, 146

795
145

30, 698
5,727
6,868

1, 437
168, 876

Mackerel

barrels.. Moekrrel, Boston fleet ..0.... Herring

.do.. Alewives

do. Sulmon..

.do.. Trout..

.do.. Herring, smoker. .boxes.. Blonters, smoked do.... Ceci.

.quintals.. Hake.

do.. Haddock

do. Pollock.

dlo, Cusk.

do. Shad

barrels.. Boneless lisa

...boxes..

214,715

17,629
171.021
4,700
9,683
2, 001
2,917

143,028
65, 110
7, 131
3,906

203
386, 223

17,629 183,658 56,673 11,363 4, 848 2,917 1,192 3,015

167, 444 56, 844 6,522 6,013

1, 437 460, 349

23, 077 150, 901 33, 679 10,077 5, 035 2,271 3,042 6,915

291, 473

23, 077 129, 912 27. 069 9, 155 1,598 2, 059

9,034
10,973
1,683
2,247

21,989
6,610

922
3, 437

212 3,042

1,192

3,015

5,915

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