Fishing historian Mike Smylie’s latest book examines the effects of herring and the herring trade on the communities who catch them over the past 2000 years, including the way of life, superstitions and of course their boats.
Herring’s importance to the coastal peoples of Britain cannot be measured – at one time tens of thousands were involved in catching, processing and selling the fish from Stornoway to Penzance, and many towns on Britain’s East Coast grew rich as a result. In Herring: a History of the Silver Darlings Mike also explains the natural history of the herring and even includes recipes including baked buttered bloaters, salmagundy and super sgadan.
Also known as Kipperman, Mike Smylie has been researching the history of the herring for nearly 30 years. He has also written extensively on fishing vessels and the fishing industry, including the books Fishing the European Coast, Fishing Around the Bristol Channel and Fishing Boats of Cornwall published by The History Press. He often appears at maritime festivals smoking herring for the public.