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Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 1887

The fisheries of Gloucester, Massachusetts in January 1887, with notes on those of other localities
By W. A. Wilcox.

During the month of January only a small portion of the fishing fleet has been actively employed. Receipts have been light, not varying much from those of the corresponding month of one year ago. For several years the new year has opened with a market overstocked with both domestic and imported fish, and prices so low as to scarcely pay the cost of production, but during the present month a largely increased and steady demand has reduced stocks, and prices have slowly advanced.

Since the beginning of the year much rough weather has been encountered, but there have been no serious losses of life or property, and much encouragement is felt in making preparations for the work of 1887.

Bait has been found abundant on the fishing banks, and additional quantities have been supplied from the cargoes of frozen herring brought from Newfoundland and the Bay of Fundy.

A few vessels have followed the fresh halibut fishery on the Grand Bank. These arrived with small fares, and reported much rough weather. The shore fleet has been detained in the harbors adjacent to the fishing grounds a large part of the month, the weather preventing extensive fishing. The Bay of Fundy herring catch has been light. Schooner Ada R. Terry, of Gloucester, arrived on January 5th with a


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cargo of 210,000 frozen herring in number. This was the first cargo landed during the season. Vessels that went to Newfoundland for frozen herring are now arriving with full cargoes and report herring of good size and quality to have been plentiful.

When the weather has been favorable the U. S. Fish Commission schooner Grampus, Captain Collins, has engaged in collecting codfish spawn direct from the fishing grounds near Cape Ann and carrying them to the hatching station at Wood's Holl. She has also brought large quantities of young fish from the hatchery and turned them loose in the in-shore waters. The Grampus and other boats of the U. S. Fish Commission from Wood's Holl have during the season planted about 20,000,000 young codfish in the vicinity of Cape Cod. This branch of the work has been prosecuted with success, the amount of eggs procured and hatched being limited only by the unfavorable weather that has much of the time prevented the taking of eggs on the fishing grounds.

The annual meeting of the Menhaden Oil and Guano Association was held at New York on January 12th. This fishery was formerly extensively prosecuted as far north as the coast of Maine, but is now confined to the coast between Narragansett Bay and North Carolina.

During the past season the fish have been found in abundance and the members of the association report an average production of oil and scrap.