Fishing and Whaling History of Long Island
Long Island is an area that is rich in history. One particular historical notion which exists with regard to Long Island deals with the fishing and whaling trades. Due to its coastal location, Long Island has seen many fishermen on its shores for the past few centuries. The following paragraphs will highlight some important facts relating to the fishing and whaling history of this wonderful area.
The first whalers on Long Island were the Native Americans who sold various parts of the whale for money and goods to individuals who lived within the region. Around the 17th century, the whaling trade began to be taken over by the new settlers who arrived to the area from Europe. In fact, many whaling companies came into existence on Long Island, as it was such a good area in which to practice this trade. The whaling industry flourished throughout the 18th century and it wasn’t until the 1800s when large ships with numerous workers really turned the industry into a booming large-scale business. Two of the popular whaling towns on Long Island during that time were Sag Harbor and Cold Spring Harbor and due to the whaling industry other trades and occupations in these towns flourished as well.
Another popular industry on Long Island was that of fishing. The largest fishing trades occurred on the East End of Long Island. Shellfishing in particular was an extremely prosperous trade. The decline was vividly seen in the 1970s when the fishing industry started to fizzle out and those who had made their living by engaging in this occupation had to leave the area and venture elsewhere so that they may continue fishing for their livelihood. Fishing on Long Island is now more of a recreational activity as opposed to a commercial one. The time in which large quantities of fisherman prospered from this trade on Long Island is much a thing of the past.
By looking back over the history of Long Island one is able to see the importance which whalers and fisherman played when it comes to this type of occupation and acknowledge why this trade occurred quite frequently on Long Island in the past.