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Sale and Processing of the Herring

Packing herring at Arbroath, c1900

Once the herring was landed, it had to be sold. The majority was purchased by the curers through a system of engagements. Some was sold at local markets or auctions. Herring do not keep well so the fish had to be sold locally or preserved. Preserving could be by salting, drying or smoking, or a combination of these methods. The most common method involved gutting and salting the fish. Most cured herring was exported. Cured herring played an important part in the Scottish economy until well into the 20th century. However, things changed dramatically after World War II. People had more money and more choice and few wanted to eat cured herring.

Purchasing fish

Curing the herring


Changes post WWII

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