Some gamesome wights will tell you that they have to plant weeds there, they don't grow naturally; that they import Canada thistles; that they have to send beyond seas for a spile to stop a leak in an oil cask; that pieces of wood in Nantucket are carried about like bits of the true cross in Rome; that people there plant toadstools before their houses, to get under the shade in summer time; that one blade of grass makes an oasis, three blades in a day's walk a prairie; that they wear quicksand shoes, something like Laplander snow-shoes; that they are so shut up, belted about, every way inclosed, surrounded, and made an utter island of by the ocean, that to their very chairs and tables small clams will sometimes be found adhering, as to the backs of sea turtles.
In Somerset and Worcester counties clams are a source of considerable value.
Maine markets more clams than any other state in the Union, and the catches of cod, hake, haddock, smelt, mackerel, swordfish, shad, pollock, cusk, salmon, alewives, eels and halibut are of importance.
In the inland waters salmon, trout, togue (Salvelinus namaycush), pickerel and bass abound; along the shore there are lobsters, clams and scallops (Pecten irradians); and off the shore are herring, alewives, mackerel, cod, halibut, haddock, smelts, hake, menhaden, porgies and porpoises.
Large numbers of shad, blue fish, weak fish (squeteague), alewives, Spanish mackerel, perch, bass, croakers (Micropogon undulatus), mullet, menhaden, oysters and clams are caught in the sounds, in the lower courses of the rivers flowing into them, or in the neighbouring waters of the sea.
The waters of the coast and bays abound in shad, menhaden, bluefish, weak-fish (squeteague), clams and oysters.
Until 1901 New Jersey's fisheries were more important than those of any other state in the Middle or South Atlantic groups; but after that date, owing to a decrease in the catch of bluefish, shad, clams and oysters, the annual catch of New York and Virginia became more valuable.
Shrimps, frogs (of great commercial importance), terrapin, clams and oysters are common.
For many years there were important cod and mackerel fisheries here and Duxbury clams were famous; there were large shipyards in Duxbury in the 18th century and in the first half of the 19th.