1819Halibut were discovered on the Middle Banks.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Handling fresh halibut at Gloucester, Mass. Weighing, unheading, and packing in ice for shipment by rail. Henry Wood Elliott, Fresh Halibut Fishery, 1882, Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States: Section V, History and Methods of the Fisheries, v.2, Freshwater and Marine Image Bank, University of Washington, https://content.lib.washington.edu/fishweb/index.html
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The early discovery of halibut on Stellwagen Bank did not immediately lead to the pursuit of this fishery until the mid-1830s when mackerel schools had suddenly become scarce. Halibut are bottom feeders, like cod and haddock, that can grow to hundreds of pounds. Halibut was increasingly pursued once ice became available in the 1840s and the railroad’s arrival in 1846 allowed fresh fish to be sent to Boston and beyond. Consumer appetite for the firm, white flesh of halibut grew after the Civil War at about the same time that the largest halibut was becoming hard to find and the fishery was beginning to be depleted.

Fuess, Claude Moore. The Story of Essex County. American Historical Society, 1935.
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