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6. The year the cutters were about the Americans were pretty well kept off. It is a great inconvenience to them to be kept out of the shore fishing. With an off-shore wind they often throw over bait and draw the mackerel off. Certainly the shores around here are a benefit to the Americans.
7. The mackerel fishing begins about the first of July, and lasts till the end of September, any way.
8. As a general thing, people here with nets can get as many herring as they want; they are used for bait. Every boat uses on an average seven or eight barrels for the season, that is, the small boats along here, The large ones use much more.
JAMES CONROY. Sworn to at Kildare, in Prince County, in Prince Edward Island, this 27th day of June, A. D. 1877, before me.
I, JAMES F: WHITE, of Alberton, in Prince County, in Prince Edward Island, merchant, make oath and say:
1. That I have been engaged in the fishing business for the last fifteen years as the owner of boats and vessels. I know the fishing grounds well, and I know where both boats and schooners fish, and the best fishing grounds. At the present time I have one schooner and ten boats, carrying about fifty men, engaged in fishing.
2. That about forty boats are fishing out of Cascumpec Harbor during the present year. These forty boats are manned by about one hundred and fifty men. The average yearly catch of each boat is about seventyfive barrels of mackerel, fifty quintals of cod fish, and fifty quintals of hake. Herring are caught along the shore, and are used for bait. Each fishing stage, in an average year, uses about three hundred barrels of herring for bait.
3. The American fleet generally enters the bay during the month of June or the beginning of July. The mackerel are then generally on shore. The Americans are often afraid to follow the mackerel as close to the shore as the fish come, owing to the water being too shoal, close to tbe shore, for their vessels, and then they launch their boats and follow the mackerel inshore in them.
4. The mackerel generally move off shore about the first of October. The off-shore catch is very uncertain, owing to the weather in the fall being often bad.
5. During the summer months the Americans invariably fish within three miles of the shore, and do very much damage to our boat-fishing. They come in among our boats and draw off the mackerel. For the past ten years I think the average number of American vessels would be two hundred and fifty, and they average five hundred barrels each year. The year before last (1875) some vessels took eleven hundred barrels out of the bay in three trips. Last year the mackerel were scarce, and the highest catch about three hundred and fifty barrels. I never knew the mackerel so scarce in the bay as they were last year. This year (1877) the prospects are good, the mackerel plenty; the bay appears to be full of tbem.
6. When the cutters were about, watching the fishing grounds, the American fleet would go out of the harbor, send one of their number to keep watch off Kildare Cape, while the balance of the fleet would fish inshore, and the watching.vessel would signal if there was any sign of the cutters. Whenever such sigual was given, they would stop fishing and stand out to sea. When the cutter was gone they would come in again. I have seen this done myself.
7. Fully three-quarters of the scboopers' catch is taken within three miles of the shore, and I may say tbe whole of the boats' catch.
8. The number of boats fishing here has trebled in the last three years. The reason of this increase is that other business is depressed, and fishermen froin the United States, Newfoundlanıl, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia are coming here to settle, attracted by the good fish. ing, so that we are now able to get crews to man our boats, which formerly we were unable to do. Another reason is that the year 1875 was a very good year, and owing to the successful prosecution of the fishing that year people's attention was turned to the business, and they were incited to go into it.
9. The boat.fishers all look upon the arrival of the American fleet as the end of the good fishing. Too much bait is thrown from the vessels, and the boats bave to give way to the vessels. The shore tishermen always look upon the arrival of the fleet to fish among them as a great loss and injury to them.
10. Generally there are more than enough herring caught along the shore for bait; this year, however, the herring fishery was a failure.
11. The Americans land here a good deal and transship their fish. This is a very great advantage for them. The advantage is that, when a vessel starts for a trip, she can only fit out for a short time, some five or six weeks, and having the right to transship, they are able to refit. They in this way save about a fortnight each trip, which amounts to an additional trip, for the summer. They can also generally buy their barrels and salt here cheaper than at home. They often come here and buy all their barrels, bringing none from home. I have supplied them myselt. The right of transshipment saves them time.
12. The mackerel season is short, lasting, at the outside, from about the middle of June till the middle of October.
13. Tbe mackerel, in spring, come down the Nora Scotian shore, and then strike up the bay to the Magdalen Islands, from there some shoals more toward the bend of this island, and others toward Bar Chaleur, Gaspé, and round there. The Americans are well acquainted with this babit of mackerel and follow them. They have very smart schooners, and follow the fish along the shore, taking their cue, to a great extent, from what they see our boats doing.
14. In average years, the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence are lined with mackerel. It is their home. American skippers of long experience say that they never want to go fnrther than three miles away from Cascumpec Harbor to catch mackerel.
15. It is a very great advantage for the American cod-fishermen to be allowed to come inshore to get bait, ice, and other requirements.
16. The mackerel are the principal part of our fishery, and when our men go out the inackerel are the principal object they have in view.
JAS. F. WHITE. Sworn to at Cascumpec, in Prince County, in Prince Edward Islan:1, tbis 26th day of June, A. D. 1877, before me.
J. P. for Prince County.
I, MEDDIE GALLANT, of Big Mimpigash, in Prince County, in Prince Edward Island, tisherman and fish-dealer, make oath and say:
1. That I have been engaged in fishing for the last twelve years. I have fished myself entirely from boats. I also owned a vessel called the “ Break-of-day,” for two years engaged in fishing. I am acquainted with the fishing grounds from this part of the island round Tigaish, New London, Rustico, and nearly round to the east point of this island, I have also been in the herring fishing at the Magdalen Islands.
2. That there about two bundred and forty boats now engaged in fish. ing between Campbellton, on this shore, and the North Cape of this isl. and—a distance of about twenty-two miles. From the North Cape to Cape Kildare there are at least one hundred and sixty boats engaged in fishing. From Kildare Cape to Cascumpec Harbor there are at least eighty boats engaged in fisbing.
3. In the last five years the number of boats engaged in fishing in the abore distances has at least doubled. At this ruu alone there has been a very great increase. Eight years ago there were only eight boats belonging to this run, now there are forty-fire. The boats are twice as good in material, fishing outfit, in sailing, in equipment, in rigging, and in every way, as they were five years ago. Tuere is a great deal more money invested in fishing now than there was. Nearly every one is now going into the business about here. The boats, large and small together, take crews of about three men each. That is besides the men employed at the stages about the fish, who are a considerable number.
4. The reasons for the increase in the number of boats and in the capital invested in the business are, that people find it pays. It has always, even in the worst years, paid us here. Anotber reason is that people are getting so pumerous that they have to go into fishing as a means of support. They cannot get employment in other ways, and there is not enough land for them, and they are always able to make good wages. I never yet knew a year when a mau would not make good wages if he stuck to the fisbing. When I was fishing myself in a small boat I used to make from fifty to sixty dollars a mouth off my own live.
5. That there is a class of men springing up wbo are entirely devoted to fishing, and make their living by it and by nothing else. This class has only begun to come on within the last few years.
6. That in the summer of 1874, which was a good fishing year, my own boats, four in number, caught eleven hundred barrels of mackerel, or two hundred and seventy-tive barrels each boat. One man in one of these boats caught twenty-six thousand three hundred mackerel on his own line, and the lowest number caught by any fisherman on board my boats was about seventeen thousand mackerel. Three of those boats carried three bands each, and the fourth boat carried four hands. In the year 1875 my boats, six in number, averaged eighty barrels each ; they also got some ling and codfish. Last year, which was the worst year we ever had, we caught in my boats, seven in number, an average of seventy barrels of mackerel each boat. We do not do much in cod and bake fishing here. This year gives good signs of good mackerel fishing, as the mackerel are now much thicker than usual in the bay, and we have already caught some. Taking one year with another, for the last five years, the average catch of mackerel for each of my boats has been one hundred and twenty barrels. My average catch is, I
. believe, the largest on this shore; the other boats would average about one bandred barrels each. This is on the south side of the North Cape.
7. The best mackerel fishing we ever have here is about two miles oft the shore. Three-quarters, and in fact nearly the whole, of the mackerel are caught within three miles of the shore.
8. The American fishing.schooners generally come down here fishing about the 1st of July, and stop till October. I have seen three or four hundred sail of them out here fishing. Last year there were not quite 80 many. They fish right in among the boats. When the Americans see the boats getting fish they come right in among them, and the boats have to move away and give them room. They take the school of mackerel from the boats, and the boats have to move away somewhere else to try to raise the fish. I have often seen this done by the Americap schooners. I bave seen boats come ashore with their spars knocked out by the Yankee schooners. The way they take the mackerel off is tbat they come in among the boats and throw their bait, which is generally better than ours, and then, instead of lying to anchor, they drift off, carrying the mackerel with tbem. They thus cause great loss and injury to our boat-fishing.
9. Before the American schooners come around we generally bave good fishing, but wben they come we find our fishing begin to slack off'; it is not so good. They throw so much bait that small schools of mack: erel are sunk and feed on the bottom, and we sometimes have bad fish. ing for a fortnight after that. Tbe Americans clean their fish on board of their vessels and throw the offal overboard, aud that destroys the fishing. When we used to gib the mackerel on the fishing ground and tbrow the gibs and refuse over, we always found that the fish left the place, so that we had to give up cleaning out on the fishing ground, and now we bury the offal on shore, so that it will not get into the run and be carried out to the fishing grounds. I therefore believe that the American practice of throwing the offal overboard does great injury to the mackerel and other fisheries. It surfeits the fish and frightens them off.
10. When the cutters were about here they used to frighten the American scbooners off a good deal, but the cutters that were here were too big for the purpose. Their smoke could be seen ten and fifteen miles off, and that gave the schooners plenty of time generally to escape. I have often seen the American schoopers clearing out to sea on au alarm of the cutter's approach. I believe a few schooners of sixty or seventy tons each, well fitted out and well manned, would, as cutters, be quite sufficient to protect all the inshore fisheries. Ten would certainly be enough. The reason the schooners would make the best cutters is that they could not be readily distinguished from the American schooners, and some of them could always be on the ground.
11. The right of transshipment is of very great value to the Ameri. cans. It saves them at least three weeks each trip, and that right in the very best of the fishing season. That, in the season, would be fully equal to a trip saved to the schooners. They can come into our ports and discharge their catches, and take out another outfit, and lose little or no time, not more than two or three days. They can always get refitted here. They can get tbeir fish into the market much quicker owing to this right. They are enabled to catch good markets. The mackerel-market is a very uncertain one, and it is a great advantage to be able to send the fish into it on short notice; and owing to the right of trans-sbipment, mackerel can now be sent to Boston in four or five days, instead of taking three or four weeks. The fish are also better by being sent in quick. I have found, by actual experience, that the longer mackerel are kept on board of the vessels the worse they get, and a week or ten days less on board makes a big difference. When left on board long the mackerel get knocked about and get to look bad; they also get warm and the pickle often sours on them.
12. The herring fishery around this island is very valuable, as to it the island fishermen owe their supply of bait, and they also use the herring for home consumption.
13. At the Magdalen I have seen the Americans seiping herring, and loading large vessels with them. They seine the herring close in to the shore, and get large quantities of them. In the spring of 1876, when I was down berring-fishing at the Magdalen Islands, there were over two hundred sail of American vessels fishing for herring, and they were all fishing right inshore. The Americans not only take the herring home from the Magdalen Islands, but also sbip them away to the West Indies and to other markets. Tbat herring tishery is a very valuable one.
14. The mackerel generally strike the Magdalen Islands first and then come down here. Experienced fisbermen know how the mackerel come, and take advantage of that knowledge. The Americans know all about the babits of the mackerel and follow them. As soon as the mackerel get scarce at the Magdalen Islands the Americans come right down to this island after them.
MEDDIE GALLANT. Sworn to at Big Mimpigasb, in Prince County, in Prince Edward Island, this 30th day of June, A. D. 1877, before me.
I, JAMES SKERRY, of Cascumpec, in Prince County, Prince Edward Island, fisherman, make oath and say:
1. That I have been in the fishing business, one way or another, for over ten years, most of the time in boats and three years in American schooners.
2. That the number of boats along this shore has increased in the past few years, and the boats are a great deal better. The boats, taking one with another, average about four hands each.
3. That I sailed in the fishing schooner Lady Franklin, of the State of Massachusetts, on a fishing trip in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, about eight years ago, and two years later in the American schooner Gamecock of Boston.
4. That we came into the bay in the Lady Franklin about the twentieth of July, and fished until sometime in November. She was about sixtyfour tons burden, and carried sixteen hands. We caught about two hundred and seventy-five barrels of mackerel in her; that was a poor season.
5. That I went into the bay in the Gamecock about the 1st of August, and stopped in the bay till sometime in November. She was about 90 tons burden, and carried 18 or 19 hands. We landed one load of fish in Charlottetown out of her and then went into the bay again. The trip we landed in Charlottetown we had about 400 barrels of mackerel. The second trip we did very badly; only taking about 50 barrels.
6. There is certainly a great advantage to be able to transship. Another trip could very nearly be made wbile going home with a load of fish and refitting. By being able to transsbip here that time is saved,