Fishing Boats

Eli Whitney Museum

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2018 Summer Program

Fishing and civilizations evolved together. The fish of the Nile fed Egypt’s early prosperity. China marks the beginning of its history with its mastery of writing and fishing. Herring and Cod fueled the Vikings’conquest of the world. Each region invented boats, nets, hooks and traps adapted to the waters and weather around them and to the habits of their catch. They learned to salt, smoke, dry and pickle fish to preserve them before there was refrigeration. Each region developed its cooking to honor the flavor and nutrition of its catch.

Construct a tiny fishing fleet to honor the richness of human ingenuity. Construct a Herring Buss with its drift nets that helped the Dutch become masters of the North Sea. Construct a Luzzu and pots to trap octopus off Malta. Construct a Sampan with a Cormorant to snare shallow river fish in China. Construct a Fair Haven Sharpie to gather shell fish off New Haven. Build a coastal enclave that connects your boats and crew to their families and markets.

The class will observe the fish that swim in the Mill River and build a working model of a Malaysian tidal trap. Any fish trapped will be returned safely to the River. Learn how we must help preserve the health of the world’s waters to sustain fishing for the future waters

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