July 14, 2016
Ahoy, SS Seahorse
- as seen by -Madeleine Thompson
In the New York Aquarium’s early years, it had its own collecting boat, the SS Seahorse, seen here in 1938.
Launching from the southern tip of Manhattan, aquarium staff would take this wellboat around to Raritan and Sandy Hook bays off New Jersey and to other local waters to catch some of their own marine life. In 1920 alone, the first year the SS Seahorse set sail, the aquarium caught some 3,000 live fish and over 800 crustaceans.
Aquarium staff also planned their visits to these bays to coincide with the times that local commercial fishermen would be emptying their permanent pound nets: while skates, puffers, sculpins, and other fish they sometimes caught in these nets had no market value for the fishermen, the aquarium eagerly sought them out for exhibit.