Disasters and Calamities, 1840-1867
Fishing boats, Souris, PE, 1910
Wm. Notman & Son
1910, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
12 x 17 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: boat (1192) , Photograph (77678) , Transportation (2517)
Keys to History
In the 19th century, the fishing industry in Prince Edward Island was not well organized, since most islanders could not afford the equipment required for commercial fishing. As a result of the Treaty of Reciprocity between the United States and Canada, the Americans from New England came to fish - especially mackerel - near the island's coasts. Beginning in 1870-1880, the American fishermen preferred to go to Newfoundland to fish cod. The fishing fleets that travelled the coastal waters, like the one shown in this photo, were mostly composed of schooners, small double-masted boats.
A rod and line were used for fishing mackerel in the 19th century; each fisherman had four lines. On good days, a dozen men could take from 30 to 50 barrels of this fish in an hour.
In the 19th century, Chaleur Bay, along the coasts of Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands and the Northumberland Strait were renowned for mackerel fishing.
Mackerel fishing was carried out from the month of August to the month of October.
In the year 1831 alone, Americans from New England took 450 000 barrels of mackerel; the annual catch would be 250 000 in the following 50 years.