1830The first Georges Banks halibut fishery was established.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Joseph William Collins, Sectional plan of well-smack employed in fresh halibut fishery on George’s Bank, 1836 to 1847, 1887, Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States: Section V, History and Methods of the Fisheries, Freshwater and Marine Image Bank, University of Washington, https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/fishimages/id/50820
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When mackerel schools proved elusive in the 1830s, Gloucester schooners were refitted for halibut fishing on George’s Bank in late winter and early spring, along with its bottom-dwelling kin, cod. In prior decades, halibut was considered a bycatch and was reportedly tossed overboard when demand was low. With the advent of ice and railroad transport, the demand for fresh halibut rose sharply and the fish would become a mainstay of the Gloucester fleet during the decades after the Civil War. The Proctor Brothers wrote in The Fishermen’s Own Book that halibut fishing was among a list of ‘firsts’ achieved by Gloucester fishermen in 1830.

Proctor Brothers. The Fishermen’s Own Book: Comprising the List of Men and Vessels Lost from the Port of Gloucester, Mass., from 1874 to April 1, 1882, and a Table of Losses from 1830, Together with Valuable Statistics of the Fisheries, Also Notable Fares, Narrow Escapes, Startling Adventures, Fishermen’s off-Hand Sketches, Ballads, Descriptions of Fishing Trips and Other Interesting Facts and Incidents Connected with This Branch of the Maritime Industry. Proctor Brothers, 1882.
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