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from Panama and Guatamala. In May 19444, however, it became apparent that these fibers would not be available in the quantities which were anticipated, and the original stockpile was at such a low level that the WPB was forced to reduce the uses of manila to an absolute minimum

Each previous revision of Order M-84 permitted increased usage of the better fibers by the fishing industry, many of the changes being requested by the Service. In May 1943, there were 102 listed end uses, one of which permitted the use of manila, 42 sisal, and 59 other fibers which then consisted of cotton, jute, and coir, By October of the same year, 23 uses of manila were granted, 47 of sisal, and 57 of other fibers; out of a total of 127 end uses listed.

By April 1944, when the manila situation first began to appear unfavorable, the end uses of manila were reduced to 20, sisal increased to 53, and other fiber uses were reduced to 53. In July of this year, due to greatly reduced supplies, the use of manila by the

Howfishing industry was denied except for life boat falls on any vessels carrying them. ever, there are 69 permitted uses for sisal and 58 uses requiring other fibers.

A combination of American hemp and African sisal fibers, known as "Hempsal," was processed into a rope designed for marine use by one of the large cordage manufacturers, Exhaustive tests of this rope in actual marine service were conducted by the fishing industry in cooperation with the Service, with satisfactory results. Consequently, the Cordage Branch of the WPB, on July 1, 1944, ordered cordage manufacturers to start production of this type of cordage. At first, the blend will contain only 10 percent American hemp but, according to present plans, the percentage of American hemp in this blend will be increased up to 25 percent or more as the fiber becomes available, Work is now under way, in cooperation with the U, S. Navy, to develop preservatives which will further increase the life of these ropes.

In the meantime, the addition of anti-mildew agents and water repellants has greatly improved the jute cordage. Treatments for cotton twines used in fish nets are being studied and tests now under way by the Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with the Cotton Research Branch of the U. S. Department of Agriculture show great promise in lengthening the service life of cotton webbing.


The regulation establishing maximum prices for services has been substantially simplified and reduced in size by a general revision and simplification of its provisions, the OPA announced on July 1. At the same time, practically all services that previously were under the General Maximum Price Regulation have been brought under the revised services regulation.

Thus, most service suppliers need look to only one regulation in determining their maximum prices when the revision becomes effective August 1, 1944, except for Alaska, where it will become effective September 1, 1944. A 30-day period is being provided between announcement of the revision and its effective date in this country so that all service suppliers, including those brought under the regulation for the first time, may be come acquainted with its provisions,

In general, few changes are anticipated in the maximum prices already established as the result of the revision, which retains the March 1942 base period of the old services regulation and the General Maximum Price Regulation. However, maximum prices determined on the basis of the price of a "similar" service, a competitor's offering price, or a price adjusted in accordance with the seller's price differentials must be redetermined, since the se pricing provisions have been deleted,

Because of the large number of services that are now covered in one regulation, the listing of individual services covered, which appeared in the old services regulation, has been omitted from the revision. All services are now covered except those governed by specific regulations, three groups of services which are continued under the General Maximum Price Regulation, and those services excluded from price control.

The three groups of services continuing under the General Maximum Price Regulation are: Transportation services of contract carriers; storage warehousing and terminal services; and

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A. W. Anderson ...


Rehabilitation of Maine alewife runs planned


Food and Drug Administration--Oyster canning inspection announced

OC --Shark fisheries have active year in 1943

Decline in shrimp canning in south predicted

OPA--Sets retail price mark-ups for fresh fish sales
Amendment 10 to MPR 364--Frozen Fish and Seafood
Amendment 11 to MPR 364--Frozen Fish and Seafood
Trade point values of canned fish reduced

Vitamin A prices revised

WFA--Duties of agencies redefined and price office set up

Lee Marshall made Director of Food Distribution

Food Distribution Regulation 3 amended

Ice storage capacity and production equipment reported adequate

Canned Fish Industry Advisory Committee meets January 6

Canned mackerel and pilchard price differentials clarified

Industrial fats and oils allocations for February ......

Special hardship appeals (fats and oils) to be considered

Vitamin A allocations announced for 1944

Food Distribution Administration--Certain fish oils may be exempted from FDO-60

Year's purchases of fishery products valued at $70,867,808

PB--Torn 541 replaces PD-1A

Diesel engine purchases controlled

Preference rating for work gloves required

Use of rubber permitted for crab trap frames

Ice production expansion program under way

Preference ratings for canners amended .....

1944 glass container and metal closure quotas announced

Revises regulation on glass containers

Revisions in M-81 (containers-cans) affect fishery products

Fish oil imports restricted


Fisheries of Massachusetts

Fisheries of Rhode Island

Fisheries of the Gulf States

Fisheries of Washington and Oregon


Llevon-month landings at Boston 44 million pounds loss than year ago

Deconber and twelve-month landings at three ports less than in 1942

Caicago receipts of fish and shellfish decline during December ......

Vossel tie-up causes big drop in New York recoipts

Gulf fishery production in 1943 shows little change from 1942

Seattle fish receipts make large gain in 1943

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Contents continued on following page

A clue to the mysterious scarcity of mackerel which periodically occurs off the north-
eastern coast of the United States, alternating with cycles of great abundance, is contained
in a study of the Atlantic mackerel published by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
report on the mackerel, basis of one of the oldest and most productive fishing industries in
the United States, was written by Oscar El tos Sette, one of the country's foremost marine
biologists, and is the first of a series of papers eventually to be published on the life
history of the species. The present report deals with the critical early stages of develop-
ment which have been found by Mr. Sette to determine the later abundance of fish of commercial

Al though the present yield of the Atlantic Coast mackerel fishery is about 60,000,000 to 80,000,000 pounds annually--of which

the United States

takes about three-fourths and the Ca-
nadian fishery the remainder--the catch has sometimes fallen as low as 13,000,000 pounds,
largest catch ever made was landed in 1884--234,000,000 pounds. During the long history of
the mackerel fishery, the catch has repeatedly declined or increased by as much as 100,000,000
pounds within a period of only a few years.

Because of the adverse economic effects of these fluctuations on the fishermen and on the
conduct of business in the fish markets, the Fish and Wildlife Service and its predecessor
agency, the Bureau of Fisheries, have carried on a biological study to discover why mackerel
may be scarce one year and abundant the next, and to find, if possible, a means of managing
the fishery to iron out the more extreme changes of abundance.


By towing fine-meshed nets through the surface waters from Chesapeake Bay to Cape Cod,
be tween 1929 and 1932, Mr. Sette was able to collect the eggs and larval stages of the mackerel
and to discover not only the location of the major spawning areas but the relative survival of
the young fish produced in the different years, In one of the years covered by the survey--
1932--only about one young mackerel survived for every 100,000 eggs spawned. Probable causes
of this extremely high mortality were several: in that season the microscopic surface life on
which the baby mackerel feed was scarce; also, the usual direction of the prevailing winds was
reversed, causing a strong southerly draft of the surface currents and carrying the young mack-
erel out of the normal mursery area for the species.

Such unfavorable conditions result in very few young being added to the mackerel population. This fact is reflected in poor catches a few years later. When several unfavorable years occur consecutively, the mackerel fishery experiences one of its periodic depressions, On the other hand, when food for the young mackerel is plentiful and wind and water temperatures are sui table, a very large crop of young survives and mackerel again become abundant,

When it is possible to record the mortality of baby mackerel in enough additional seasons, Mr. Sette points out, biologists will be able to work out the size of the spawning stock needed to maintain high production in the mackerel fishery.

Titled "Biology of the Atlantic Mackerel of North America; Part I: Early Life History,"
the account of Mr. Sette's studies is published as Fishery Bulletin No. 38 of the fish and Wild-
life Service, and may be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing
Office, Washington 25, D. C., for 25 cents,

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22 22


15 million pounds of U. S. fishery products frozen during December
Frozen fish stocks on January 1 total 99 million pounds
Mackerel largest item in Boston cold-storage on December 29
New York cold-storage holdings drop slightly in December
December cold-storage holdings in Chicago heaviest in many years
Canadian plants freeze 3 million pounds of fresh fish in December

Canadian holdings on Jamiary 1 total 31 million pounds .....

Shrimp pack 27 percent under previous season on December 25
California sardine pack through December 9 percent under last season

1943 tuna and mackerel packs surpass 1942

Reorganization of the fisheries of Newfoundland planned

Turtle industry, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, B. W. I,
Wholesale and retail prices
Trends of fishery trado ..

Fishery trade indicators
Fishery Bulletin No. 38
Fishery Bulletin No. 39

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Inside back cover
Outside back cover
Inside front cover




HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary



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Applications for FISHERY MARKET NEWS, which is mailed free to members of the fishery industry and allied interests, should be addressed

to the Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, Washington 25, D. C.

The Service assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of material from outside sources

February 1944

Washington 25, D. C.

Vol. 6, No. 2


By A. W. Anderson*

The fisheries of the Western North Atlantic have been prosecuted for more than four centuries. During this period, technological changes in the industry have had a profound effect on the grounds fished, as well as on the gear and vessels used and the products marketed, This is true particularly with respect to New England.

Although important technological changes have occurred in relatively recent years, there is reason to believe that we are on the threshold of developments that will change the character of the fishery and again will permit American vessels to seek the more distant banks which have been largely neglected since the decline of the salt-fish fishery.

The fishery for groundfish began as a fresh-fish industry because the catch was taken in inshore waters and landed fresh to be salted at shore stations. The uncertainties of sail and the need to land the fish in good condition necessarily limited the fishing to within a narrow radius of the shore station.

Later, the wealth of fish on the offshore banks was discovered. To prosecute this offshore fishery efficiently, a shift in the method of processing was necessary because the catch could not be landed while fresh.' To overcome this difficulty, vessels were equipped to preserve their catches at sea. They left port loaded with salt and proceeded to the more distant banks, where fish were most abundant. The catch was preserved in salt as fast as it accumulated. Because spoilage had been inhibited, the length of voyage and the distance to the grounds were no longer important factors. Voyages to the well-stocked northern banks became commonplace, and the return could be delayed until a full fare had been secured. On shore, processing was limited to the further drying of the vessels' green-salted fish.

Salt fish is reported to have comprised 90 percent of the catch in colonial days and reigned supreme as a staple food product until late in the 19th century, when its position was threatened by the advent of an abundant supply of agricultural foods, the development of other domestic fisheries, and the increasing market for fresh fish,

A market for fresh fish always existed, but the fishing industry was not able to supply more than the coastal demand with a good quality product. A series of developments altered this situation and led in turn to changes within the industry to enable it to produce the ever increasing landings of fresh fish required.

Ice came into use on American fishing vessels as a preservative for the catch near the middle of the 19th century. Then rapid rail transportation, lower rail rates and improved refrigeration facilities expanded the market beyond the narrow coastal strip to which it had been limited. In the 90's, the landings of salt fish began to decline. In 1893, the volume of salt fish landed at Boston and Gloucester amounted to over 46 million pounds, while the fresh fish total was 96 million pounds, In 1941, almost 50 years later, salt fish landed * Chiot, Division of fishery Industries, Washing ton 25, D. C.

at Boston, Gloucester, and Portland had dwindled to about 3 million pounds, while the fresh

fish landings had mounted to almost billion pounds (Fig. 1).

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here 1.

During this period, the continually inlaadiuso al trout a Baltod Man

creasing demand for fresh fish forced the inat Principal Thew Incland Porto,

dustry to revise its fishing methods, improve 1993 - 19443

its fishing gear and vessels, and develop better marketing and distributing facilities, Inadequate methods of preservation forced a withdrawal from distant banks because fish could not be maintained in a fresh condition during the length of voyage required to obtain a full and profitable fare. Vessels and gear were

altered to produce more fish in shorter periods 1001

from the nearer banks, Sail gave way to steam,

gas, and diesel engines as motive power. SailLet

ing vessels decreased from 2,066 in 1880 to 5 1900 1910 1920 1930

1940 1950

in 1930, and none in 1940. Steam, too, is dis

appearing. Although there were 64 steam-powered craft in 1924, only 1l were listed as fishing in 1940, Meanwhile, motor-powered vessels numbered over 600.

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The first otter trawler appeared in 1905 and the schooner dragger type was evolved about 1919. On grounds fished by otter trawls, the hand lines and trawl lines could not withstand

the competition. In 1941, otter trawls took over 400 million pounds of fresh fish as compared with less than 1/10

1/10 that amount by hand Puro 2

and trawl lines combined (Fig. 2). Landings by Otter fravis & Lines Woo at Priacidal der lagland Porte

A host of other technological improvements 1921 - 1983

aided the industry to develop this huge production, Vessels acquired fathometers to en

able them to locate the grounds with greater 300

ease and trawl with increased efficiency, while Ottor traula

radio telephones apprised them of each other's

catches and the state of the weather and the 200


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Marketing practices improved and set new

patterns. The New England Fish Exchange was 100 Led tre los conting established in 1908 and the Boston Fish Pier

completed in 1915. Filleting was introduced in 1921, skyrocketing the volume of packaged

fish in New England from a few thousand pounds 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945

in that year to more than 122 million pounds of

groundfish and rosefish in 1942 (Fig. 3). New freezing processes doveloped in the 20's created additional demand and forced production upward. In 1924, New England froze only 22 million pounds of fresh fish and shellfish. In 1942, the total was 118 million pounds (Fig. 4). Its production increased 6-fold, while the United States as a whole advanced only 70 percent.

Distribution, in turn, kept pace and opened wider markets with the increased use of telephone and telegraph, faster rail schedules, refrigerated motor trucks and improved containers.

What the future holds in store for the fisheries of the Western North Atlantic in the way of technological advances is not easy to predict. Improvements in gear and vessels are a matter of conjecture. Perhaps, mostly refinements are in order. These might include new types of otter boards which would reduce the towing effort, and changes in the design of trawls which would permit the taking of larger catches per drag. Synthetic fibres developed during the war may be capable of adding greatly to the efficiency of our present trawling gear.

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