There are numerous tile-works and potteries of fine ware; and a considerable trade is carried on in anchovies and oysters caught in the Scheldt.
Of anchovies alone, to,000,000 jars are prepared annually, while salted fish is, next after bread, the staple food of large masses of the population.
The Clupeidae, or herrings, are most abundant; and anchovies, or sardines, are found in shoals, but at irregular and uncertain intervals.
Among the fish may be mentioned the tunny, dolphin, mackerel, sardine, sea-bream, dentice and pagnell; wrasse, of exquisite rainbow hue and good for food; members of the herring family, sardines, anchovies, flying-fish, sea-pike; a few representatives of the cod family, and some flat fish; soles (very rare); Cernus which grows to large size; several species of grey and red mullet; eleven species of Triglidae, including the beautiful flying gurnard whose colours rival the angel-fish of the West Indies; and eighteen species of mackerel, all migratory.
The principal fisheries are those on the Atlantic coast, carried on by the inhabitants of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and the eastern section of Quebec. Cod, herring, mackerel and lobsters are the fish chiefly caught, though halibut, salmon, anchovies and so-called sardines are also exported.
In the Zuider Zee small herring, flat fish, anchovies and shrimps are caught, the chief fishing centres being the islands of Texel, Urk and Wieringen, and the coast towns of Helder, Bunschoten, Huizen, Enkhuizen, Vollendam, Kampen, Harderwyk, Vollenhove.
Oysters and mussels are obtained on the East Scheldt, and anchovies at Bergen-op-Zoom; while salmon, perch and pike are caught in the Maas, the Lek and the New Merwede.
The inhabitants are principally engaged in agriculture and the fisheries, and in the preservation of sardines, anchovies, &c. The breed of draught horses in the island is highly prized.
Anchovies are abundant in the Mediterranean, and are regularly caught on the coasts of Sicily, Italy, France and Spain.
There is reason to believe that the anchovies found at the western end of the English Channel in November and December are those which annually migrate from the Zuider Zee and Scheldt in autumn, returning thither in the following spring; they must be held to form an isolated stock, for none come up from the south in summer to occupy the English Channel, though the species is resident on the coast of Portugal.
The explanation appears to be that the shallow and landlocked waters of the Zuider Zee, as well as the sea on the Dutch coast, become raised to a higher temperature in summer than any part of the sea about the British coasts, and that therefore anchovies are able to spawn and maintain their numbers in these waters.
There is no evidence to decide the question whether all the young anchovies as well as the adults leave the Zuider Zee in autumn, but, considering the winter temperature there, it is probable that they do.
The occurrence of anchovies in the English Channel has been carefully studied at the laboratory of the Marine Biological Association at Plymouth.
When taken in British waters anchovies are either thrown away or sent to the market fresh with the sprats.
If salted in the proper way, they would doubtless be in all respects equal to Dutch anchovies, if not to those imported from Italy.
The so-called "Norwegian anchovies" imported into England in little wooden kegs are nothing but sprats pickled in brine with bay-leaves and whole pepper.
About 500 species of food fishes have been found, and common among them are the bangos or milkfish, the banak or mullet, mackerel, herring, anchovies, groupers, snappers, pompano, tarpon and bonito.
Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the carrying trade, while the fisheries on the coast are also actively prosecuted, tunny and anchovies being caught in great numbers.
A prevalent custom among the better classes is that of beginning meals with a selection of such viands as anchovies, smoked salmon or slices of meat, of which a number of small dishes are provided (smorgasbord).