An enormous shoal of dogs

From The Times, 2 March 1858 (with a geographical infidelity)

Enormous Shoal Of Dogfish. – From all quarters we are furnished with information regarding the appearance of a prodigious shoal of dogfish along the whole north-east coast of Scotland, and as far as to the westward of the Lewis. This circumstance, so unusual at this early period of the year, and without precedent in the memory of the oldest fishermen so far as the size of the shoal is concerned, has raised quite a commotion among the seagoing fraternity. Certain it is, that if these destructive creatures remain on our coasts till the commencement of the fishing season, the effect on the catch of herrings cannot but be very serious. The shoal is to ‘be found at a great offing, and close in shore. A correspondent at the distant island of Uig, near the Lewis, say they are not only found at a distance of 20 to 30 miles at sea, but are seen floating on the surface at the head of every harbour, bay and creek, and are caught in hundreds and thousands by fishing rods and nets. Several have been caught in this bay, and a good many have been washed ashore along the whole coast during the recent gales. From the Moray, Banff and Aberdeen coast we have similar information. All this was from opposite Fieness northward there seems to be one almost unbroken shoal of ‘dogs’. We trust they may disappear before the herring fishing commences, their appearance on our shores being some three months earlier than usual. – Northern Ensign