THE WHOLESALE FISH MARKET
Is held on the beach at the front of Mahomed's baths. The boats employed to supply this market with the delicacies of the deep are, in number, about one hundred, which generally sail in the afternoon or evening, continue at sea during the night, and return with the fruits of their labour, if the weather permits, at an early hour in the morning. From May to the latter end of July, mackerel are considered in season, and are brought to shore in great plenty; and from October to Christmas is the principal season for herrings. Of the latter upwards of l00,000 have been deposited on the beach for sale from one boat, a quantity which, at the moderate price of two shilings per hundred, affords a sum to the fishermen of £100. The average number of persons are not more than three to a boat. Soles, brills, and turbots, dories, mullets, scate, whiting &c., are also occasionally in great plenty, soles, brills, and turbots, being common at all seasons of the year.
Lobsters, crabs, and oysters are brought to the town from Bognor and Emsworth.
Prawns and shrimps are occasionally taken hereabout in abundance.
The manner of selling fish by wholesale, is called a Dutch auction; the fishermen commence by putting a higher price on their cargo than they know will be given, and then gradually lower it, until one of the persons present cries, "have them", who is then considered the purchaser. During the herring and mackarel season hundreds of persons may be seen collected together on the beach for this purpose.
The chain of nets used for taking mackarel is almost of an incredible length, both as to extent and depth, and thousands of fishes are sometimes captured at a single draught.
— , Saunders, , The Stranger's Guide in Brighton; Being a Complete Companion to that Fashionable Place, and the Rides and Drives in Its Vicinity., , 1838