B306 Fishing

 

Introduction

 Fishing had for centuries been of vital importance for the Manx - in particular the annual herring fishery provided a substantial portion of the Manx diet. Cured Herrings (originally salted) but later air/smoke dried red herrings and Kippers were a significant export. The once large Manx fishing fleet has now virtually disappeared - even herring destined to become Manx cured kippers are bought from Scotch boats!.

Kinsale fishery

Until c.1840 Manx Fishermen were inshore fisherman after Herring which is caught at night when the fish rise nearer the surface as they visit their spawning grounds around mid-summer to autumn - this fishery could be exploited using smaller boats but suffered both from poor returns when the herring deserted their usual grounds, and increasingly in the 19th century, from competion by better equipped boats from Cornwall, Ireland etc. Robert Corrin of Peel is credited with the development of the mackerall fishery off Kinsale(from about March) which provided both more employment and by extending the season justified increased captital expenditure on better boats which in turn led to a significant boat-building industry. However by 1911 the Kinsale fishery was described as languishing for lack of investment.

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001