Menhaden fleet provides flashback in Lewes history

Although the industry has roots as far back as the late 19th century in Lewes, it was Otis Smith, who was also elected mayor, who revolutionized the industry during the first half of the 20th century up until the mid-1960s when the fishery was depleted. It’s hard to believe today, but in 1953, Lewes was the largest seafood port in the United States, processing more than 390 million pounds of fish, of which 360 million pounds was menhaden. Lewes was a factory town. There was no discrimination in the industry as good-paying jobs were provided for whites and Blacks. Many seasonal workers, mostly from Virginia and North Carolina, also came to Lewes to work during the fishing season from April through October. At its zenith, the Lewes operation landed more pounds of fish than any other fishery in the United States. Photos, >click to read< 15:26

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