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Fisheries, the. The interruption of the fisheries formed one of the elements of the Revolutionary War and promised to be a marked consideration in any treaty of peace with Great Britain. Public law on the subject had not been settled. By the treaty of Utrecht France had agreed not to fish within 30 leagues of the coast of Nova Scotia; and by that of Paris not to fish within 15 leagues of Cape Breton. Vergennes, in a letter to Luzerne, the French minister at Philadelphia, had said: The fishing on the high seas is as free as the sea itself, but the coast fisheries belong, of right, to the proprietors of the coast; therefore, the fisheries on the coasts of Newfoundland, of Nova Scotia, and of Canada belong exclusively to the English, and the Americans have no pretension whatever to share in them. But the Americans had almost alone enjoyed these fisheries, and deemed that they had gained a right to them by exclusive and Plan of action at Fisher's Hill. immemorial usage. New