SWAN'S ISLAND LOBSTER AND MARINE MUSEUM
The Fighting Fishermen
The history of New England fisheries is entwined with the history of the United States, from the days when fishermen stepped forward to man the first fighting ships at the time of the American Revolution. Around 1800, recognizing the important contribution that seamen had made to American independence, Congress passed a subsidy on codfish, to assure that there would be a strong and profitable commercial fishery - and proficient seamen able to serve in the US Navy when needed. At that time, island fishermen learned the ways of the seas by fishing for cod and haddock using hook and line. The catch was brought home each day, and families helped with the work of preserving the fish - splitting and drying them in the sun.