Over the centuries, North Berwick has been a fishing port. In the late 19th century there were 90 men and boys working 30 fishing boats and a whole fishing community was based within Canty Bay. Herring was caught around Craigleith Island with cod, mackerel, salmon, and trout occasionally caught in the herring-nets. Sometimes porpoises and even sharks were landed.
The deep-sea fishing was chiefly carried out from 50 to 100 miles east of the Bass Rock, where cod, ling, turbot, halibut and skate were caught. The inshore fishing yielded haddock, whiting, flounder, sole and brill. Lobsters and crabs were caught by means of creels and shrimps were gathered along the shore in summer
The fishing industry went into decline when the shoals of herring, which used to abound in the North Sea, gradually disappeared. Today there a few small one-‘man’ boats which are used for lobster, crab and shrimp fishing.
(article supplied by Alison Wright, NBHS Pupil ©2011)