1848The purse seine was introduced to the Gloucester fishing fleet.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Seine fishing in dories, n.d. Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Photo 13480
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Toward an Oral history on Cape Ann: Salvatore Linquata, 1978, Sawyer Free Library, NOBLE Digital Heritage, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/s/gloucester/item/4990

The purse seine was reportedly invented by Rhode Island menhaden fishermen in 1826, although it was probably modeled on a net used by Basque fishermen in the French Bay of Biscay. This style of net added a “purse” to the bottom of the net that could be pulled together from the surface by ropes that prevented entrapped fish from escaping. The purse seine was adopted by Gloucester fishermen for mackerel fishing in the 1840s as a more efficient alternative to handline “jigging” over the side of the boat. Seining required dories to lay the net, enclose it, and help with hauling it on board the schooner resulting in a massive increase of production in the mackerel fishery.

Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 1881. https://www.penbay.org/usfc/usfc1881_menhaden_fishery_origin.html.
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