The Gill-Net Cod Fishery

Norwegian method of setting the nets at the bottom. 1, Nets. 2, Large stones used for moorings. 3, Buoy. 4, Buoy-line. 5, Glass floats attached to buoy-line. 6, Watch-floats. In 1885 this was new technology in the American ground fishery which was still based on hook and line fishing.

In Maine, gill netting for cod and other ground fish took more fish than did otter trawls until after World War II. Not until 1945 did otter trawling take more fish than did hook and line or gill nets. But in Massachusetts, otter trawling surpassed gill netting by 1919 and surpassed hook and line ground fishing by 1928.

This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887, Section V, Plate 39. The book can be found on line at:

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Online access: NOAA
Goode, G. Brown