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James Morrison's Account of TahitiIndigenous Histories
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Fish & Fisheries


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Fish & Fisheries

These Islands abound with the greatest variety of Beautiful and delicious Fish besides the Fish Common to other Countrys within the Tropics; the reeds afford some of the most beautiful Collours that can be conceived and these rich collours are always fine Fish. Among those found Near these Islands are the Grampus a Young Whale, Porpoise, Swordfish, Shark, Turtle, Albicore, Dolphin, Bonnette, Skip Jack, White Salmon, Covally Old Wife — Snappers White & Red, Gafish, Barracoutta, Ballihoo Leather Jacket, Yellow tail, Ray, Sting & Common, Parrot or Rainbow fish, Flying fish, Squid, Sprat, Eels Sea & River; Hedge Hog fish. Sea Cat, Mullet White & Red, Stone Brass, Blochan Flounder or Sand Dab, Warrior fish, Doctor Dogfish, Nourse, Millers thumb Sea Chub, Sea Roach, Sea Gudgeon and innumerable others for which we could find no names, among these the Whale, Turtle, Porpoise, Shark, Albicore & Dolphin are sacred, and the Weomen must not eat them and the Turtle is either presented to the King or Eaten on the Morai as they are not caught in great Numbers; besides these they have Shell Fish with which the reefs abound among which are Small Conchs, Pearl & Small Common Oysters, Crabbs Cray fish, Prawns & Shrimps, Cockles Common & horse, Tygers, Wilks & Winckles of different Sorts, Clams, Muscles, & Sea Eggs with a thousand other shells for which we could find no names; they have also land Crabbs but few eat them. I never found in those Islands the Grooper, King fish or Jew fish which are Common in the West Indies.

Their Fishing tackle Consists of Seines of large dimention lines & hooks of all sizes, Spears, Snares, Pots &c. — evry Fisherman makes his own hooks lines twines and evry article of His Geer, which are not to be equald by any thing but their Skill in using them; they

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© Derived from the 1935 Print Edition edited by Owen Rutter, page 153, 2004
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