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Fish weir, Lubec, ca. 1935

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Herring for Lubec’s sardine packing and smoked herring factories were caught in a weir. A weir is a piece of fishing equipment made up of a giant net, called a seine, and poles. The seine hung from poles, which were driven into the sea bottom and created a funnel-like opening that directed the fish inside.

The men depicted in this image are dressing the weir. Dressing a weir consisted of fixing the top twine, which encircles the entire seine, is buoyed above the surface of the seawater, and held in place by rings on the stakes. Later the herring are harvesting by a more capacious vessel called a seiner.

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