United States Statutes at Large/Volume 3/13th Congress/1st Session/Chapter 2
Act of July 29, 1813, chap. 35.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the master or skipper of any vessel of the burthen of twenty tons or upwards, qualified according to law for carrying on the bank and other cod fisheries, bound from a port of the United States to be employed in any such fishery, at Agreements with fishermen under what sanctions to be made. sea, shall before proceeding on such fishing voyage, make an agreement in writing or print with every fisherman who may be employed therein, (except only an apprentice or servant of himself or owner,) and in addition to such terms of shipment as may be agreed on, shall in such agreement express whether the same is to continue for one voyage or for the fishing season, and shall also express, that the fish or proceeds of such fishing voyage or voyages, which may appertain to the fishermen, shall be divided among them in proportion to the quantities or number of said fish which they may respectively have caught; which agreement shall be endorsed or countersigned by the owner of such fishing vessel or his agent. Fishermen neglecting their duty.And if any fisherman, having engaged himself for a voyage or for the fishing season, in any fishing vessel, and signed an agreement therefor as aforesaid, shall thereafter and while such agreement remains in force and to be performed, desert or absent himself from such vessel Act of July 20, 1790, chap. 29, sec. 7. without leave of the master or skipper thereof, or of the owner or his agent, such deserter shall be liable to the same penalties as deserting seamen or mariners are subject to in the merchant service, and may in the like manner, and upon the like complaint and proof, be apprehended and detained; and all costs of process and commitment, if paid by the master or owner, shall be deducted out of the share of fish, or proceeds of any fishing voyage to which such deserter had or shall become entitled. Conditions to which they become subject.And any fisherman, having engaged himself as aforesaid, who shall during such fishing voyage refuse or neglect his proper duty on board the fishing vessel, being thereto ordered or required by the master or skipper thereof, or shall otherwise resist his just commands to the hinderance or detriment of such voyage, besides being answerable for all damages arising thereby, shall forfeit to the use of the owner of such vessel his share of any public allowance which may be paid upon such voyage.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted,Fishing vessels to continue liable for wages of the hands for six months after sale of fish. That where an agreement or contract shall be so made and signed for a fishing voyage or for the fishing season, and any fish which may have been caught on board such vessel during the same, shall be delivered to the owner or to his agent for cure, and shall be sold by said owner or agent, such vessel shall, for the term of six months after such sale, be liable and answerable for the skipper’s and every other fisherman’s share of such fish, and may be proceeded against in the same form and to the same effect as any other vessel is by law liable and may be proceeded against for the wages of seamen or mariners in the merchant service. Just accounts of sales to be produced, otherwise the vessel answerable.And upon such process for the value of a share or shares of the proceeds of fish delivered and sold as aforesaid it shall be incumbent on the owner or his agent to produce a just account of the sales and division of such fish according to such agreement or contract; otherwise the said vessel shall be answerable upon such process for what may be the highest value of the share or shares demanded. But in all cases the owner of such vessel or his agent, appearing to answer to such process, may offer thereupon his account of general supplies made for such fishing voyage and of other supplies therefor made to either of the demandants, and shall be allowed to produce evidence thereof in answer to their demands respectively; and judgment shall be rendered upon such process for the respective balances which upon such an inquiry shall appear: Provided always,If vessel sued the owner may give bond. That when process shall be issued against any vessel liable as aforesaid, if the owner thereof, or his agent, will give bond to each fisherman in whose favour such process shall be instituted with sufficient security, to the satisfaction of two justices of the peace, one of whom shall be named by such owner or agent, and the other by the fisherman or fishermen pursuing such process, or if either party shall refuse, then the justice first appointed shall name his associate, with condition to answer and pay whatever sum shall be recovered by him or them on such process, there shall be an immediate discharge of such vessel: Remedy at common law to be preserved. Provided, That nothing herein contained shall prevent any fisherman from having his action at common law for his share or shares of fish or the proceeds thereof as aforesaid.
Approved, June 19, 1813.