The fishing industry here in Tignish is one of the largest and is what keeps many families going. The fishing industry originally began way back in the year of 1845. This is the year that Frank Arsenault and Thomas J. Caie set up multiple stores in the Tignish district and they began to trade with locals.
In the year 1850 W.B. Dean and Captain Hubbard founded a fishing commercial establishment along with a general store. By the year 1852 Tignish was exporting more fish products than any other port on the whole Island! These products were being shipped throughout North America and multiple foreign countries. The following are the statistics from the year 1852:
- 244 barrels of gaspereaux.
- 2113 quintals of cod.
- 115 barrels of herring.
- 21 barrels of fish oil.
In 1856 John Myrick and Isaac Hall continued to keep Tignish's fishing community alive by opening "Myrick's Enterprise," a general store, and a few other local businesses. These two individuals controlled a great deal of the economy until shortly after the 1900's.
In the year 1924 the first Fishermen's Union ever to be formed in Canada was created by a group of our very own Tignish men! This group was placed under the direction of Chester P. McCarthy. Chester P. McCarthy was admitted to his legal profession in the year 1919, and set up a private lawyer practice here in Tignish shortly after. He also managed the Tignish Fisheries until he passed away in the year 1949.
In the year 1925 the Fisheries Union bought a factory located in Jude's Point from the man known as Dr. J. A. Johnson. Twenty-six members bought shares and officially formed the company "Tignish Fisheries Ltd."