Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland. It is on the East Coast, between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Dundee has been an important trading port for centuries. It was also a whaling port. From the 1750s to 1913 Dundee sent many whaling ships to the Arctic. These ships brought back whale blubber. Boiling yards turned the blubber into oil. People used the oil for soap, lighting, heating and to soften jute. Dundee was famous for its jute mills. Jute was a type of cloth. The ships also brought back whalebone or baleen. People used whalebone to make clothes fashionable. They also used it for things such as brushes and springs.
In the 19th century Dundee was not an important fishing port. In 1898 Dundee had only one large boat over 45 feet (14 metres) and seven smaller boats. There were only 23 fishermen and boys. Most of the Dundee fishermen fished with bag-nets in the Tay. They caught herring, sprats and sparling in the winter. In the summer they used fishing lines to catch white fish such as cod and haddock. Fishing boats from other parts of Scotland also visited Dundee. The largest boat was the trawler Flying Scotchman.
In the 20th century, Dundee also had a fish dock. Fishing boats called trawlers sailed from here. Trawlers pulled a large net behind them. These boats were steam powered. The trawlers caught a lot of fish. Dundee had the third largest trawler fleet in Scotland.
Dundee controlled mussel beds in the Tay. Mussels were very important because fishermen used them as bait. In 1913 Dundee took over the small town of Broughty Ferry. In 1898 Broughty Ferry had 71 boats. The fishermen used lines to catch haddock and flounders. In the summer they sailed to the north to catch herring. In 1930 Broughty Ferry had 13 boats. They supplied most of the fish that the Dundee workers ate. There are no fishing boats at Broughty Ferry now.
Dundee also controlled the salmon fishing in the area. In 17th century there were two salmon fishing stations near Broughty Castle. In 1845 there were still 10 salmon fishers in the village. A Mrs Robertson in Brook Street made salmon nets. Salmon fishing from boats was called toot-and haul fishing. A boat drew the net through the water. A fisherman in the boat would toot on a bugle when he saw fish in the net.
Salmon coble from the Highlands, but similar to those used in the Tay