© Mouth of the Tweed 2016
To ensure that Britain could compete successfully, the British White Herring Fishery Commission was established in 1809 to supervise the fishing and certify the quality of herrings cured and packed for export.
Five or six tons of salt were needed for every 100 barrels of herrings, so
the British curing industry was stimulated by the abolition of Salt Duty in 1825. By the 1830s, the price of salt had fallen from £32 to £1 a ton.
There were herring-
When the boats arrived at the port, the herrings were unloaded and put into wooden troughs called “farlans” where the herring-
After gutting, the herrings were sorted according to size and quality. “Fulls” were adult fish that were ready to spawn. “Matties” were immature fish that had not yet developed roe. The least valuable were “spents”, thin fish that had spawned. The herrings were put into a tub, salt was added and the fish and brine “roused”, or mixed together. The fish were then packed in the barrels. Each layer was laid in the form of a rosette with the heads pointing outwards in the first layer. The arrangement was reversed in the next layer and so on until the barrel was filled. Coarse salt was put between the layers. An efficient team, or “crew” of herring-