Fishing for market, or commercial fishing is a vast industry in the United States, so large that many readers of this book will look with amazement at some of the data given in this chapter.
The entire country is divided into five main divisions as follows: Atlantic Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Coast, Great Lakes and the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
The fisheries of the Atlantic Coast division employed 94,281 persons, and a capital investment of over $26,000,000, with a value of fish products caught in one year amounting to $35,475,000. The Gulf of Mexico division employed 15,481 persons, with a catch valued at $4,825,000. The Pacific Coast division employed 18,855 persons, with a catch valued at $6,839,000. The Mississippi River division with 11,731 persons employed and a catch valued at $3,125,000. The Great Lakes division with 8,533 persons employed and a catch valued at $3,767,000.
Of the total number of persons engaged in the fishing industry of the United States in 1908, 25 per cent. were employed on fishing and transporting vessels, 73 per cent. in the shore and boat fisheries, and 2 per cent. as shoresmen, directly connected with the catching of fish. In addition to the foregoing there were 2,952 proprietors, not engaged in fishing.
The Atlantic Coast division was by far the most important in the United States, giving occupation to 66 per cent. of all the persons engaged in fishing, the Gulf of Mexico division next, where 11 per cent. of the total number were employed. The Pacific Coast division, and the Great Lakes division follow in the order named.
Some inland fishermen work for wages, with apparatus and board furnished; others are paid by the bushel, or according to the weight of their catch. In some coast fisheries men are given $25 a month and board while employed, the value of the board calculated at $10 a month.
Nearly seven-eighths of the value of fishery products of the United States are represented by 30 kinds of products. The products here considered are the following:
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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