The Fishing Industry and Milford Haven
The whaling activities ended in the 1820's and the proposed trans Atlantic traffic did not materialise so other uses had to be found for the newly built docks.
There had been small scale coastal fishing in the area for many years, specially during the herring season when fleets of herring boats, from as far away as Brixham called into Milford Haven. However, this was not enough to sustain the port.
In September 1888 the Sybil, a steam trawler entered the newly completed docks. This signaled the building of a local fleet of trawlers which underpinned the economy of Milford Haven until the 1950's when over fishing and general decline saw the industry severely reduced.
During its heyday the dock was the centre of activity for the town. There were up to 130 locally owned trawlers regularly using the port. It was said that for every man who went to sea there were ten people ashore in support trades. These included, ice makers, net braiders, box makers, ship repairers, provisioning agents, fish merchants, porters and others who gutted and cleaned the fish prior to them being transported to Billingsgate Market in London.
In the 1920's several smoke houses were built and in the late 1940's a fish freezing plant was established.
Generations of some families were involved in the fishing industry over many years and the port was of national importance. You could say that fishing put Milford Haven on the map!