It is a known fact that New York was settled by the Dutch in the early 1600s. They came over from the Netherlands and settled on the lower part of Manhattan. Their ship was called Half Moon, captained by Henry Hudson from England, who was doing this job for the Dutch Republic. The purpose of their voyage was to find a northwest passage for the Dutch East India Company, but instead, Hudson became involved in the trading of beaver pelts and decided that was the way to go. A Dutch explorer by the name of Adriaen Block further explored the outlying areas of the settlement and ventured out to Montauk, Long Island, or Lange Eylandt, as it was named. In 1614, the Dutch monopolized the beaver pelt trading and New Netherlands was the name of the area of present-day New York State, with what we know as Manhattan called New Amsterdam, serving as the capital.
In 1621, the Dutch West India Company was created. There were many concerns regarding the other European settlers in the area, so the Dutch created Fort Amsterdam in the area which is now Wall Street. It was called Wall Street because of the walls created for the formation of the fort. The Lenape Indians “sold” Manhattan Island to the director of the Dutch West India Company Peter Minuit, so that Minuit could promise families that their possessions and farms would be safe from either Indians or other European settlers. In 1626, the island of Manhattan was officially called New Amsterdam.
When the British colonists came and “took over” from the Dutch in June 1665, the area was named New York City. Then, in July 1673, the Dutch took it back and named it New Orange. Finally, in November 1674, the British regained the land back and the name New York was re-stamped on it.
During the time when Adriaen Block explored Long Island, he met with many of the native Indians known as the Montauketts. They were a very peaceful tribe, mainly involved in fishing, hunting, and farming. The Native Indians traded furs with Block and other Dutchmen for European goods. In the 18th century, Montauk was actually the home of the first cattle ranch in the United States. Housing started up around this time because of this great success. During the 19th Century, slaves who had taken-oven the Spanish schooner Amistad in 1839 came ashore and were later freed. In the 20th century, Long Island was known for its large fishing industry in the areas of north and south forks of the east end. The name given to the fisherman of this region was Long Island Baymen. They mostly harvested shellfish and that was their only source of income. Since the late 1970s, there has been a huge decline in commercial fishing throughout the Eastern US fishing towns because of pollution and poor management. The clam industry was hit hard because of that. Many baymen lost everything; their jobs, their homes and families during this devastating time. More recently in the 21st century, sport fishing has taken over as well and this has led to many ill-feelings by the baymen towards these sports fishermen. Even though the fishing industry in Long Island isn’t what is used to be before the late 1970s, Montauk still remains the largest commercial and recreational fishing fleet in New York State.
There are many charter boats and marinas to explore in Montauk, as well as many delicious seafood restaurants. For those who are into fishing, charter a boat and catch some fish for your evening’s dinner. What’s the catch of the day? Is it striped bass, fluke, Atlantic cod, or black sea bass? The summer isn’t over yet! Prolong it by venturing out to Montauk, Long Island and enjoy some delicious seafood. Continue the proud history of the Montauketts and Baymen of Long Island and cast out a line; you never know what kind of fish you’ll catch.
Some NY local fish markets:
Ocean’s Bounty Seafood – 415 North Country Road, St. James, NY 11780
The Fish Store – 836 Montauk Highway, Bayport, NY 11705
Casino Clam Company – 427 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Cosentino’s Fish Market – 6927 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Joons Westside Fish Market – 774 Amsterdam Ave., (btwn 97th & 98th st.) NY, NY 10025
Jackson Heights Greenmarket – 34th Ave., (btwn 77th & 78th st.) Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Baked Atlantic Cod Recipe:
- Place an oven rack on the middle tier. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wash the Atlantic-cod fillet with cold water and carefully blot it dry with paper towels.
- Brush the cod fillet with cooking oil or melted butter. Add salt, pepper and other chosen seasonings to taste. Squirt some lemon or lime juice on too, if you like.
- Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil just large enough to completely wrap the Atlantic-cod fillet. Spray one side lightly with a cooking spray.
- Place the cod fillet on the aluminum foil. Fold the foil up around the fish and press it closed without applying pressure to the cod.
- Bake the foil-wrapped Atlantic cod for about 10 minutes, until its flesh is opaque and flaky all the way through to the center. The cooking time varies by oven, thickness of the cod fillet and other factors.