FISHING is one of the oldest known industries and the many inlets and havens on the Kincardineshire coast has resulted in the areas long fishing history. Some of the finest examples of fishing villages in Scotland can be seen in the Grampian area.
With many of the villages dating from the seventeenth century although some have even earlier settlements. Since the traditional methods of fishing have now died out, nearly all of the fishing in these smaller villages have declined with it.
The harbour at Stonehaven was well placed in the shelter
of Downie Point although when the wind was east or north east it could be difficult to enter. The first pier was to the North, then the South Pier was constructed in 1825. The main breakwater was not built until 1908, by which time the boom years of the herring fisheries had past. With the exception of the later quarter of the 19th century (Stonehaven had up to 80 boats at this time) Stonehaven has never rivalled the other North East ports. The vessels numbers then gradually declined, with 64 in 1889 then only 19 in 1909.
With this decline in both Herring and Whitefish the young men had mostly given up fishing for their livelihood. Excepting for brief periods of increased activity at the end both the 1914 - 1918 and 1939-1949 wars, fishing has continued to decline to only a few boats.