Schooner Salting Down a Herring Catch

A schooner loads herring from a small boat alongside, salting down the fish as it goes into the hold. The fishermen are standing thigh deep in fish presumably caught in the weir to the left rear of the photograph. Bagged salt is spread on the deck where it can be shoveled into the hold with layers of fish. A chute lets the fish be easily shoveled over the schooner's rail. Salt was a large portion of fishing expense in the days before ice plants and gasoline and diesel engines, which made fresh fishing possible. But herring were always salted as they were headed for the cannery. This photo was taken before engine powered sardine carriers replaced sailing carriers.

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