Menhaden Fishing Industry

Menhaden Fishing Industry (HMCS0)

Location: Lewes, DE 19958 Sussex County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 46.691', W 75° 8.471'

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The Atlantic Menhaden is a small herring-like fish found in the coastal waters of the Eastern United States. Used by Native Americans to fertilize crops, these oily fish were also used by European settlers to produce fuel for lamps. In the mid-19th century, technological improvements resulted in more efficient processing methods and the menhaden fishing industry was greatly expanded. Products included oil for use in paints and fertilizer to support the growing nation's agricultural economy. In 1883, the Luce Brothers and S.S. Brown & Co. Built the first menhaden processing plant in Lewes. Located at the center of the East Coast fishery, the community soon became one of the country's most productive locations for the menhaden industry. By 1938, the Consolidated Fisheries Company of Lewes was the largest processing plant in the United States. The discovery of vitamin B12 in menhaden and its use as a source of protein in animal foods and other products resulted in even greater expansion following World War II. Under the management of industry leader and long-time Lewes Mayor Otis Smith, this was one of the largest landing ports in the country, serving as home base for a fleet of 25 ships employing over 650 crew members. By the mid-1960s, a decline in the number of fish resulted in the termination of local menhaden fishing operations and the end of an era for the Lewes community.
HM NumberHMCS0
Marker NumberSC-214
Year Placed2007
Placed ByDelaware Public Archives
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 9:32pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 487736 N 4292171
Decimal Degrees38.77818333, -75.14118333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 46.691', W 75° 8.471'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 46' 41.46" N, 75° 8' 28.26" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)302
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2 Shipcarpenter St, Lewes DE 19958, US
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