At last we rose and dressed; and Queequeg, taking a prodigiously hearty breakfast of chowders of all sorts, so that the landlady should not make much profit by reason of his Ramadan, we sallied out to board the Pequod, sauntering along, and picking our teeth with halibut bones.
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.
The take of halibut is increasing steadily.
The pursuit of cod, mackerel, herring and halibut fills up, with a winter coasting trade, the round of the year.
The wonderfully productive halibut fisheries of Hecate Strait, which separates these islands from the mainland and its adjacent islands, have attracted the attention of fishing companies, and great quantities of this fish are taken regularly and shipped across the continent in cold storage.
Large quantities of herring, plaice and halibut are also taken.
The city is especially important as a salmon fishing and packing centre (cod, halibut and smaller fish also being abundant); it has also an extensive lumber trade, important lumber manufactories, pressed brick and terra-cotta factories, and dairy interests.
Though fruit-trees will not bear there is an abundance of edible berries; the rivers and lakes abound with trout, perch, pike and other fish, and in the lower waters with salmon; and the cod, herring, halibut and Greenland shark in the northern seas attract numerous Norwegian and Russian fishermen.
Mackerel was a relatively unimportant catch until about 1821, and since then has been an important but unstable return; halibut fishing has been vigorously pursued since about 1836 and herring since about 1856.