Fishing has been one of Suffolk's most important industries for at least 900 years. So good were the catches that there was a tithe levied on fish to be paid to the local parish or the Bishop. In 1042, Bishop Alfric awarded the Manor of Southwold to the Monks of Bury St Edmunds. Southwold was obliged to pay the monks an annual 'tribute' of 20,000 herrings.
Herring was the most popular catch in the waters close to the Suffolk coast with fishing fleets venturing out from quays at Orford, Slaughden, Aldeburgh, Thorpeness, Dunwich, Walberswick, Southwold, Kessingland and Lowestoft.
Dunwich was, in the 16th century, Suffolk's chief fishing port, with 166 mariners and a ship of over 100 tons, the larger vessels being sent to Iceland for catches of cod and ling.
Suffolk fishing boats had strange names, crayers, busses, pinks and ketches. Buss Creek, which runs from Soutwold harbour to Might's Bridge was developed in the 18th Century as a haven for busses, 'Buss' being the Dutch name for a...