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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 429 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FISHERIES,' a general term for the various operations engaged in for the capture of•such aquatic creatures as are useful to man. From time immemorial fish have been captured by various forms of spears, nets, hooks and more elaborate apparatus, and a historical description of the methods and appliances that have been used would comprise a considerable portion of \a treatise on the history of man. For the most part the operations of fishing have been comparable with those of primitive hunting rather than with agriculture; they have taken the least possible account of considerations affecting the supply; when one locality has been fished out, another has been resorted to. The increasing pressure on every source of food, and the enormous improvements in the catching power of the engines involved, has made some kind of regulation and control inevitable, with the result that in practically every civilized country there exists some authority for the investigation and regulation of fisheries. The annexed table shows the department of state and the The early years of the 2gth century witnessed another great expansion of the sea fisheries of the United Kingdom. The herring' fishery has been revolutionized partly by the successful introduction of steam drifters, which have markedly increased the aggregate catching power, and partly by the prosecution ofd the fishery on one part or other of the British coasts during the greater part. of the year.. The crews of many Scottish vessels which formerly worked at the herring and line fisheries in alternate seasons of the year now devote their energies almost entirely to the herring fishery, which they pursue in nomad fleets around all the coasts of Great Britain. The East Anglian drifters carry on their operations at different seasons of the year from Shetland in the north (for herrings) to Newlyn in the west (for mackerel). In Scotland the value of the nets employed on steam drifters has increased from £3000 in 1899 to £6r,000 in 1906, and the average annual catch of herrings has increased from about four to about five million cwts. during the past ten years. In England also the annual catch of herrings, which reached a total of two million cwts. for the first time in 1899, has exceeded three millions in each year from 1902 to 1905. In steam trawling also great enterprise has been shown. In 5906 Messrs Hellyer of Hull launched a new steam trawling fleet of 50 vessels for working the North Sea grounds, and the delivery of new steam trawlers at Grimsby was greater than at any previous period, these vessels being designed more especially to exploit the distant fishing grounds, the range of which has been extended from Morocco to the White Sea. About too vessels were added to the Grimsby fleet in the course of twelve months. These new vessels measure about 140 ft. in length and over 20 ft. in beam, and exceed 250 tons gross tonnage, the accommodation both for fish and crews being considerably in excess of that provided in vessels of this class hitherto. Returns of the steam trawlers registered in 1907 in the chief European countries show the expanse of this industry, and the Administration of Fisheries. Norway. Sweden. Denmark. Germany. Holland. Belgium. Department of State Trade and In- Agriculture. Agriculture. Imperial De- Agriculture. Agriculture and Approximate Annual Expenditure dustry and £5,500 £10,200 £12,500 Woods and 1. Administration Agriculture. 4,500 6,300 2,500 Forests. 2. Scientific Fishery Research . £15,000 £1,000 5,000 partment of Interior. Conducted by Maritime States £27,950 Canada. U.S. America. England and Scotland. Ireland. Wales. Department of State Marine and Fish- Bureau of Fisheries Agriculture and Fishery Board. Agriculture and Approximate Annual Expenditure eries. under Commerce Fisheries. Technical In- i. Administration and Labour. £8,000 struction. 2. Scientific Fishery Research 14,000 (expended through agents) £i59,000 Conducted by £13,000 £to,000 48,000 Coastal States 800 £141,000 approximate expenditure on fisheries in some of the chief countries of the world. The figures are only approximate and are based on the expenditure for 1907. In the case of England and Wales the expenditure is not complete, as under the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act of 1888 the whole of the coast of England and Wales could be placed under local fisheries committees with power to levy rates for fishery purposes, and in a certain number of districts advantage has been taken of this act. But even with this addition, British expenditure on fisheries is less than that undertaken by most of the countries of northern Europe, although British fisheries are much more valuable than those of all the rest of Europe together. ' For fisheries in the cases of CORAL, OYSTER, PuARL, SALMON, SPONGES and WHALE, see these articles; for fishing as a sport see
End of Article: FISHERIES

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