9. Fisheries

In remote times the inhabitants of the Western Islands do not appear to have prosecuted the fishing industry to any great extent along their coasts. There were, however, companies formed in the south to fish in northern waters, and the Records of the Scottish Privy Council show how they were harassed in their undertakings by the Islesmen. In 1576 Roderick Macleod of Lewis and his son Torquil came under an obligation for themselves, their kin, friends, and others, “on na wyis molest, stop, troubill or mak impediment to ony his Majesteis subjectis in thair lauchful trade of fischeing in the Lochis of the Lewis or utheris the north ylis of this realme.” (Collectanea de Rebus Albinicis, p. 101.)

In the reign of Charles I. strenuous efforts were made to establish a Hebridean fishing industry, and in 1633 several noblemen formed themselves into an association for that purpose. They were honoured by the patronage of the King and encouraged by His Majesty’s bounty. Two Royal fishing stations were set up in the Long Island—one at Lochmaddy, and the other on the Sound of Harris.

By this time, as previously mentioned, Lord Seaforth had acquired the Island of Lewis, and as soon as his authority there was established, he began to rear up a sort of independent Principality. In contravention of the laws and privileges of Royal Burghs he introduced into Stornoway a number of Dutch fishermen in order to prosecute the fishing industry there. In 1629 the Commissioners of Royal Burghs complained to the Privy Council of Lord Seaforth’s conduct in the matter. They alleged that he “ draiv in hither ane number of strangers who daylie resorts to and fra Holland to the Lewes and continent next adjacent” [that is the mainland of Ross, where the Mackenzie influence was predominant] “ and hes caused them be answered of all such commoditeis as these bounds affords, as namelie with fishes and beeves quhilkis with the hyde and tallow, with manie utheris commoditeis, they transport to Holland.”

The Council sustained the views contended for by the Burghs and decided against Lord Seaforth. In 1632 the King wrote to the Privy Council concerning the “great wrongis done by strangers inhabiting the Lewis and repairing thereto in trading and fisching against the laws of that our Kingdom.” Special reference was made to Lord Seaforth’s conduct in the matter ; and eventually His Majesty commanded the Council “that yow give ordour to the inhabitouris of the yles not to suffer any stranger to trade or fisch within the same ; using your best and readiest endeavours that the whole fisching be reserved for the use of the natives and subjects who are frie of the Societie of new erected by us, whereby thay may be encouraged to sett forward in so great and hopefull a work, whereof we are pleased to tak upon us the protection.” (Collectanea, de Rebus Albinicis, pp. 105-6.)

After this some of the Dutchmen were sent away ; but several Dutch families settled in Stornoway and remained there until the outbreak of hostilities between Great Britain and Holland in 1653. They were then expelled, but their example, according to Knox, had a good effect on the natives, who from thenceforward have done more in the way of fishing and trafiic than all the other parts of the West Highlands. [A Tour through the Highlands of Scotland and the Hebride Isles, in MDCCLXXXVI, by John Knox.]

To illustrate the disinclination to fish shown by the Western Islanders of former days, it may be mentioned that about 1786 Captain Macleod, the then proprietor of Harris, introduced into that Island a number of East Coast fishermen with Orkney yawls to teach the inhabitants. In the spring of that year he proceeded to try the fishing on the coast near Rodel, but his generous design was ridiculed by the tenants, who maintained that he would meet with no success. He, however, persisted, and in course of one month caught 4,400 large cod and ling, between 400 and 500 skate, and innumerable quantities of small fish.

By the end of the eighteenth century the prosecution of the fishing industry seems to have been general wherever there were favourable fishing grounds along the coast of Lewis, but Stornoway and its neighbourhood formed the centre. The minister of Barvas, writing in the Old Statistical Account, states that there were a few cod, ling, and haddock taken upon the coast, but that the principal fishing was that of dog—fish, from the liver of which a considerable quantity of oil was extracted. It is worthy of observation that in former times, and in some cases even to the present day, dog—fish has formed a favourite article of food in the island. There were upwards of 40 boats employed at the dog—fish industry in the Parish of Barvas in the 18th century, and from 8,000 to 9,000 Scotch pints of oil were annually manufactured from the livers of dog—fish and sold to Stornoway merchants at from 6d. to 8d. per pint. For a length of time the tenants of Ness were able to pay their rents with the proceeds of dog-fish oil.

The minister of Lochs says there were about 70 fishing boats belonging to the Parish ; and he adds that the people from their youth were accustomed to a sea—faring life. Cod and ling, he mentions, constitute the principal fishing, of which about 24 tons on an average were annually caught. The cured fish were sold to the Stornoway merchants. Other kinds caught were consumed in the Parish.

The minister of Uig states there were then 73 fishing boats in his Parish. Great quantities of herrings of uncommonly large size, he adds, were caught in Loch Roag within the immediately preceding years. In 1794 there were about 90 sail from all parts of the Kingdom at the herring fishing in that loch. About 40 years prior to that date the hauls were so large that fresh herrings were sold at 1s. per cran. For Loch Roag cured herring Sweden was at one time the principal if not the sole market. At the date the Old Statistical Report there were 275 netmakers in Uig, showing that the fishing industry was prosecuted with some measure of activity. “ All the people,” the writer says dwell in little farm-villages and they fish in the summer season. The women do not fish ; but almost at all times when there is occasion to go to sea, they never decline that service, and row powerfully.” (Vol. XIX., p. 284.)

The minister of Stornoway gives statistics showing the quantities of fish shipped from Stornoway during the six years from 1791 to 1796 inclusive. In these years there were 14,000 barrels of herrings “exported” (presumably to the Continent), and over 20,000 “ shipped” for British consumption. Cured cod and ling were mainly exported, the figures varying from 39 tons in 1792 to 134 tons in 1794. For home consumption the higher figures are those for 1795, when the quantity was 19 tons. 11 cwts., and the lowest those for 1796, the quantity being 1 ton 14 cwts. All the train oil shipped was for home consumption, except 40 barrels exported in 1796. The following Table shows the total quantities of herrings and cured fish, &c., shipped from Stornoway for home and foreign ports during the years stated :—

White herrings
Cod and ling
Tons – Cwts – Qrs
Train oil
4592 ½
64 18 0

44 3 2

68 3 3
4 ¼
6739 ½
137 11 1

4395 ½
114 0 3

120 17 1

Total for 6 years
34588 ½
549 14 2
4 ¼

These figures show an annual average of 5,765 barrels of white herring, 91 tons cod and ling, and 230 barrels of train oil. The term “white herring ” no doubt means salted herrings, as distinguished from smoked or red herrings.

The decline of the kelp industry in the Hebrides gave an impetus to fishing, and in Lewis there was after that decline a progressive increase, particularly as to cod, ling, and hake ; for the number of these fish taken or purchased by craft belonging to . Stornoway was 122,398 in 1828, 173,041 in 1829, and 198,226 in 1833. (Lord Teignmouth’s Sketches of the Coasts and Islands of Scotland, Vol. I., p. 220.) The herring fishing, however, did not make such great strides. To the middle of the nineteenth century it was mainly confined to the lochs, for till then the people were not acquainted with deep-sea fishing, and their boats and nets were not suitable for it. The cod and ling fishing was, however, vigorously prosecuted, the fish being, as a rule, cured and sold. Prior to 1833 there were about 120 tons of this fish cured annually in Stornoway and shipped to Ireland and the Clyde. Flounders, saithe, and haddocks were caught in large numbers, but mainly for domestic consumption. “The haddock,” says the minister of Stornoway, in the New Statistical Account, “is a general favourite, and “is to be had at all seasons in the Broad Bay. There is always a ready sale for it in “ spring, when the salt beef becomes tough ” !

There is no record of any large expenditure by Sir James Matheson to promote the fishing industry. He made considerable outlays, as has been seen, in securing steamer communication with the island, and also expended £2,225 in the building of a quay for steamers at Stornoway; but the only entry of any large outlay by him, having a direct connection with the fishing industry is one setting forth that he expended £1,000 on fish-curing houses. Indeed, there is evidence that he did not consider it his duty as proprietor, or likely to be ultimately beneficial to him, to invest money in that way. Mr. John Munro Mackenzie of Calgarry, who had been chamberlain for Sir James in Lewis, gave evidence before the Napier Commission at Edinburgh on 24th October 1883. In course of the same he laid considerable stress on the importance to Lewis of harbours and boat-slips.
At the close of his examination Lord Napier interrogated him thus——“ You seem to have a very high sense of the importance of harbours and boat shelters. When you were there you were associated with a very rich and benevolent proprietor. Was his attention not called to that question?”
Mr. Munro Mackenzie—“ Constantly, but that was one of the few points which he and I differed upon. I constantly wished that some of the money expended on other things should be expended upon harbours, and he always said : ‘ Well, the fish-curer should do it. The people who are getting the benefit of this fish trade should do it.” I said: ‘You will get it in another way. You will get it in rents.’ But I could never get him to see the advantage to him. He always said that the fishermen and curers, and the people engaged in the trade, should do it for themselves.”
—(Question and Answer, No 46,055.)

Among capitalists Mr. Methven, of Leith, was a pioneer of the deep-sea herring; fishing. With the encouragement given by him and other fishcurers, that fishing received an impetus, and a larger class of boats was introduced. Many of these were of the type known as the “Anstruther build,” and each one was in consequence called “An Anstrutherach,” a name which in course of years was shortened into “ Eanstrach.” This word became the usual designation for boats of that build till the larger boats of recent years were introduced.

With the use of the “ Eanstrach ” the deep-sea herring fishing of Lewis prospered. The extent of the Stornoway herring fishing and of the cod and ling fishing may be seen from the following figures applicable to the years 1870-75 :—

Barrels of herring cured at Stornoway
Number of cod and ling cured in the Stornoway district

The statistics furnished by the Fishery Board for Scotland show the importance of the fishing industry in Lewis during the period specially covered by this Report. The number of herring boats belonging to Lewis, however, has at no time during this period reached 200. In 1880 the actual number was 165, and that may be regarded as a fair average for a series of years. The fluctuations in the figures, however, are somewhat perplexing, for while in 1889 the number had risen to 197, it had dwindled to 96 in 1895. In the following year it rose to 187, and in 1900 it stood at 179.

A much larger number of boats is engaged in the cod and ling fishing, but in that industry also the numbers fluctuate. In 1880 there were 351 of this class. They gradually increased till 1891, when a total of 440 was reached. In the following year they had decreased to 330; and immediately thereafter a rapid increase set in, the number in 1895 being 704. Then another decline followed, and in 1900 the number was only 442. The number of fishermen and boys employed in the fishing industry was 2,730 in 1880 ; in 1885 it rose to 3,530. Since then there has been a gradual increase till a total of 3,903 was reached in 1898. In 1900 the number had fallen to 3,617. As to the value of the fish caught the statistics furnished commence with the year 1889. The figures for the years 1889-1900 include the value of fish taken in Lewis and Harris, the whole island being in the same fishery district. The catch of herrings represents nearly three times the value of the white fish, but it would be a mistake to suppose that the proceeds remain in the island. A large majority of the boats engaged in the summer fishing come from other quarters, and carry with them the proceeds of their enterprise. The white fishing, on the other hand, is mainly confined to local boats and the proceeds accordingly go to the Islanders.

The following figures are instructive with regard to the proceeds of the herring fishing. The value of herrings caught in Lewis and Harris in 1889 is given in the Fishery Board Return at £57,071. In 1891, it rose to £90,738, but after that year it steadily declined, reaching the low figure of £20,462 in 1 894. After that a steady increase set in until 1898, when the very large sum of £128,707 was reached. In 1900 the figure was £83,547. The total catch of herrings during these twelve years amounted to the value of £816,583, or an average of £68,048 per annum.

Taking next the white fishing, the total catch was of the value of £26,683 in 1889. A steady increase followed till 1893, when the sum of £36,158 was reached. After that date there has been a decline until, in 1900, the figures fell to £21,487. Only in one year did the figures exceed £30,000, viz., in 1897, when the catch was valued at £32,813. The total value of white fish landed in these twelve years is £337,692, or an average of £28,141 per annum.

In the case of shell-fish, the most important of which are lobsters, the value has varied from £7,871 in 1892, down to £3,392 in 1900. This falling off is accounted for partly by the scarcity of full-grown lobsters, and partly by the fact that the fishermen are employed in more remunerative branches of industry. The total value of the shell-fish landed during the said twelve years was £61,907, of which £27,682 was contributed by Harris, leaving £34,225 to Lewis. The yearly average in Harris was £2,306, and in Lewis £2,852.

It is noteworthy that while the contribution of Harris to the total catch of Lewis Fishery District amounts to £27,682 for shell-fish in the twelve years, its total catch in herrings and white fish only amounts to £17,258.

Deducting the contribution of Harris from the total catch in the Stornoway Fishery District during the period specified, the following classification may be made :—

Herring and White Fish £1,137,017
Shell-fish: £34,225
TOTAL £1,171,242

Herring and white fish: £17,258
Shell—fish: £27,682
TOTAL: £44,940

Total for Lewis and Harris: £1,216,182

Although the annual catch fluctuates, there is evidence of the general progress of the fishing industry so far as the local boats are concerned in the fact that according to the Returns of the Fishery Board the value of boats belonging to Lewis in 1880 was £17,130, while in 1900 it rose to £26,638, or an increase of 55'5 per cent. The value in the last year is owing more to the larger and improved class of boat than to increase in numbers. The herring boats and white-fishing boats in 1880 numbered 516, and making them as a whole give an average Value of £33 4s. 0d. In 1900 the two classes together numbered 621, or an increase of 20 per cent. as compared with 1880, and had an average value of £42 18s. 0d. It may be added that there were in Lewis in 1900, 88 boats of 45 feet keel and upwards, classed first, and having a tonnage of 2,239. These were all from places where good harbour accommodation is obtainable, such as both sides of Loch Erisort, the districts of Leurbost, Eye or Point, and Back. There are none of this class in Stornoway, or in the adjacent fishing villages. There were 61 classed first, with 30 to 45 feet keel, and having a tonnage of 808, in the island in 1900. Boats of the second class, and measuring from 18 to 30 feet keel, are met with throughout the island, there being 30 of these at Port-of-Ness alone. The total number of such boats in Lewis in the year stated was 218, with a tonnage of 1,072. Concerning the progress generally, the following passage from the Annual Report of the Fishery Officer at Stornoway may be quoted :—

“A noticeable feature in connection with the industry [fishing] is the spirit of progress manifest at a number of creeks bordering on the Minch. Several new boats of the most modern construction have been added to the fleet. Fishing material has also been improved. For the first time in the history of the Lewis fishermen, five crews prosecuted the herring fishing as far as Great Yarmouth, and two at Lerwick. These were remarkably successful. Notwithstanding the failure of the summer herring fishing, the earnings of the crews engaged in its prosecution ranged from £400 to .£1,200.” (Annual Report of the Fishery Board for 1900, p. 258.)
The Return of the Fishery Board on which these observations are based will be found in Appendix K. to this Report.

Although the great majority of the boats engaged in the summer herring fishing 113 come from a distance, as has been explained, the industry is of the utmost importance to Lewis. Such able-bodied men as have no boats of their own can get employment on stranger boats as hired hands, and those Lewismen who have suitable boats prosecute the fishing with as much success as others.

In connection with the herring fishing the female population of Lewis earn a large amount in successful years. In the hot weather usually prevailing during the summer fishing it is absolutely necessary that the herrings should be cured as soon as possible after they are landed, and accordingly a large number of women are required for gutting and packing. Some of these come from other quarters, but the vast majority are Lewis women.

While waiting the arrival of the fishing fleet they may be seen in large numbers on the streets of Stornoway. They knit, and chat to each other in Gaelic, as they saunter along. Bareheaded and clad in short skirts and knitted shoulder—wraps, or shawls of the most vivid colours, they present a picturesque appearance. Whenever the boats arrive the fineries are doffed, oilskin aprons are put on, and they begin to work with right good will. In this work they are formed into crews or
parties, each party being divided into gutters and packers. Whenever the fishing is prosperous they are thus occupied daily till Saturday, when all living within a moderate distance of Stornoway return to their homes. There they spend their Sundays, and return to work on Monday. In this way they afford a good illustration of the Gaelic saying—“ Di-h-Aoine mo ghaoil; Di-Sathurna mo ghraidh; Di-Domhnaich latha a’ chadail mhoir ; Ach oich ! oich! Di-Luain—an t-scachdain cho fada ’s a bha i riamh.” (Friday, my love ; Saturday, my darling love; Sunday, the day of the long But Monday, alas! alas I the new week as long as ever it was !)

On the Mondays they may be seen wending their way from the country districts to Stornoway. Each carries a creel or basket with food and raiment for the week, and walks barefooted over the rough roads with the utmost unconcern. On reaching the outskirts of Stornoway a halt is made, usually on some grassy plot by the road, a toilet process is gone through, shoes and stockings, which had been carried slung round the neck, are put on, and then the straggling groups proceed to town to commence the arduous duties of another “long week.”

A branch of the herring industry which deserves a passing notice is that of kippering. For a length of time the Stornoway June kippers were considered the best in the market ; and curers brought girls from Yarmouth and other places for the kippering trade, the local women not having acquired the art in any considerable numbers. Now, however, the Lewis girls are expert kipperers, and very few English women are brought to Stornoway.

The importance of the fishing industry in Lewis can hardly be over—estimated. The money earned circulates through the island, and Stornoway in particular, as the mercantile centre, profits largely. During the busy part of the fishing season the population of the town is doubled—sometimes more than doubled—and a great impetus is given to local trade. The success or non-success of the fishing affects all the relations of peasant life; and perhaps there is no respect in which this is more noticeable than in the number of marriages in the winter, which vary according to the success of the fishing season.

With the view of accommodating the increased shipping, and particularly the large number of fishing boats which resort to Stornoway in summer, the Pier and Harbour Commissioners of the town have made large expenditure within the last few years in deepening the harbour and extending the quayage accommodation. The extent of the work may be estimated from the fact that the annual value of the undertaking is entered in the current Valuation Roll at £3,081 11s. 8d.

Finally, a few observations may be offered on the subject of loans to fishermen under the Crofters Holdings Act. Section 32 of that Act authorised the Fishery Board for Scotland to make advances, by way of loan, to persons engaged in the prosecution of the fishing industry, whether crofters or others in crofting parishes, in the seven counties mentioned in the Act and abutting on the sea ; the Treasury to advance to the Fishery Board for this purpose such sums as might from time to time be voted by Parliament. The second part of the section proceeds :—
“ The purposes to which the sums advanced as aforesaid shall be applied by way of loan, shall be deemed to include the building, purchase, or repair of vessels, boats, and gear for fishing purposes, and any other purpose of the like nature, for the benefit or encouragement of the fishing industry within the localities above specified, which may be sanctioned by the Fishery Board, with consent of the Secretary for Scotland.”
In due course the Secretary for Scotland, with the consent of the Treasury, made rules as to the terms on which the Fishery Board might make advances by way of loan to persons coming within the scope of the said section of the Act. Under these rules the loans were divided into two classes—(1) for the building of new boats; and (2) for buying gear, or for the purchase or repair of boats already built.

In the case of new boats the maximum sum to be advanced was not to exceed £312 in any case ; and in estimating the value of a boat such value was to include the sails, rigging, anchor, chains, spars, and the usual boat gear and fittings, but no fishing gear. Loans for this purpose—i.e., the first class—were to bear interest at 3½ per cent., and principal and interest were repayable in half—yearly instalments according to a scale to be prepared by the Fishery Board. These instalments, in terms of the agreement of parties, ranged over periods of from four to ten years. Boats of this class were mortgaged to the Board.

Loans for the second class varied according to the condition of the boat or other circumstances affecting the security. Under the said enactment the Fishery Board made 246 loans throughout the districts to which they were applicable, the total amount advanced being £30,111 16s. 7d. Of the total number 93 were effected with Lewis fishermen, who received advances amounting to £11,933 11s. 9d., thus leaving £18,178 4s. 10d. as the sum advanced to all other quarters. In the case of Lewis all the advances were made between March 1888 and January 1891. No advance has been made to any quarter since the last stated year. Thus the time for repayment of all the loans has expired ; but it is matter for regret and disappointment that there are 11ot only outstanding arrears, but that the Fishery Board felt compelled to seize a number of boats and dispose of them to the best advantage. In other cases boats were surrendered and afterwards sold by the Board. The arrears due from all quarters at 31st December 1900 amounted to £8,333 3s. 10d., of which £7,463 12s. 9d. was in respect of principal, and £869 11s. 1d. of interest. In the matter of repayment it is to be noted that the Lewis borrowers have done better than the others as a whole. We place here in tabular form the total amount of loans, the amount repaid, including principal and interest, and the percentage of principal paid‘, distinguishing between Lewis loans and all other loans :—

Loans to Lewis fishermen:
Number: 93
Amount advanced: £11,933 11s 9d
Amount repaid, including Principal and interest: £9,835 4s 4d
Percentage paid: 82.4

Loans to Fishermen from all other quarters, including Cromarty, Helmsdale, Wick, Lybster, Orkney, Shetland, Harris, Barra, Loch Broom, Fort William &c.
Number: 153
Amount advanced: £18,178 4s 10d
Amount repaid, including Principal and interest: £10,813 15s
Percentage paid; 59.5

But for the unfortunate position of the Parish of Barvas in respect of these loans, Lewis would have presented a much better appearance than it does. Barvas received fifteen loans amounting to £1,053 18s., but of this sum only £259 3s. of principal and £32 18s. 1d. of interest has been repaid. Taking principal alone, these figures only show payments amounting to 24.5 per cent of the whole advance; and even adding interest to the instalments of principal, the percentage is only 27. On the other hand, the three Parishes of Stornoway, Lochs, and Uig received loans amounting to £10,879 13s. 9d., and repaid £7,903 9s. 1d. of principal and £1,639 14s. 2d. of interest, making in all £9,543 3s. 3d., or 87 per cent. of the total advance.

As stated, the Fishery Board was under the necessity of seizing boats when the borrowers had failed to implement their part of the contract; and from the statistics given at page 35 of the Appendix it will be seen that not fewer than 31 Lewis boats had either been seized or were surrendered. These when sold realised £1,024 12s. Four boats were wrecked, two of which were insured and two not insured. In respect of the former the Board received £47 15s. 8d.

The total advances made by the Board to Lewis fishermen and the monies received in payment thereof may be tabulated thus :—
Total Advances, . . . . £11,933 11 9 ,

Monies received—
Principal repaid by Borrowers, . . £8,162 12 1
Net sums received for seized or surrendered Boats: £1,024 12 0
Money received from Insurance Companies (wrecked Boats):£47 15 8
Interest paid by Borrowers £1,672 12 3
TOTAL received: £10,907 12 0

Net loss of Capital, exclusive of all Interest, . £1,025 19 9

So much for the financial aspect of the Lewis loans. The following figures show total number carried out in Lewis, and how they now stand :—
Total number of Loans, i.e. mortgaged Boats, 93
Fully paid up, . . . . 35
Boats seized or surrendered and sold, . . 31
Boats found unsaleable, . . . 5
Boats wrecked, . . . . 4
Loans compromised after legal action, . 2
Loans still outstanding, i.e. Boats still mortgaged to the Board, . . . 16

The Appendix shows that a sum of £1,998 2s. 8d. of principal has been written off against the local loan fund. This amount included balances which were found to be irrecoverable in connection with costs of seizures and sales, unsaleable boats, wrecks and compromises. No sum has been written off as against borrowers, however, and these can still be proceeded against should the Board consider that course expedient. As regards the four cases of wreck, two were uninsured at the time of the loss, and therefore no money could be recovered in respect of them. In the case of the other two, the amount for which the boats were insured was insuflicient to pay the full value of the boats. Further, the owners were in arrear with their instalments, and balances had to be written off.

In the two cases compromised, actions were raised in the Sheriff Court, and after some procedure the borrowers made offers which the Board accepted. There are sixteen boats still mortgaged to the Board, but it is confidently hoped that all, or nearly all, the loans in respect of these will be paid up. The amount of principal against these loans still outstanding is stated at £700 9s. 4d. We understand, however, that since the date of the Return printed in the Appendix the sum of £77 has been received to account, reducing it to £623 9s. 4d. But for the comparative failure of the West Coast fishing in 1901 a much larger amount would have been paid. The Board anticipate that with an average fishing in 1.902 fully one—half of the mortgaged boats will be clear, and that the remainder may be clear next year. The sum of £254 4s. 8d. stated as “interest outstanding” includes interest due by the owners of the mortgaged boats, and also interest debited to the borrowers in all the other cases of arrears, but which still remain unpaid.

While it is to be regretted that these loans have not been fully paid up, and that so many boats had to be seized or were surrendered, it is to be borne in mind that the advances were made to aid a deserving class of men in adverse circumstances, and in surroundings where they were unable to help themselves. Those who have cleared their boats are said to be doing Well, and in no case have they gone - back for a second loan in that view of the situation the amount of money dropped as in a question of account ing should not be considered a loss, but as a grant in aid towards a highly important object, the benefit of which is directly and indirectly felt in the advancement of the fishing industry.

The help given by the Fishery Board in the matter of piers and harbours and in telegraph extension has been dealt with in the preceding section.

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