Today, most of the boats working out of the harbours of North Northumberland fish for crabs and lobsters.
In Victorian times, crabs were carried in large quantities by railway. In the early years of Victoria’s reign, fishermen caught crabs using hoops covered with nets that were hauled along the sandy sea-bed close to the shore.
Crab and lobster pots were introduced from Scotland in the late 19th century.
Local communities on the Northumberland coast call the pots by different names. On Holy Island they are “creels”, “creeves” at Beadnell and Seahouses, and “nets” at Craster.
The conservation of crab stocks has a relatively long history. The Fisheries Act of 1877 made illegal to land crabs that were too small or that were “berried”, or carrying eggs.