Tonight I found myself reading about herring fishing in 1830s Scotland.
Herring fishing was the most economically important industry for the people of Latheron, Caithness, Scotland at that time. About a third of the parish population fished or working directly in support of herring fishing. There were the men who undertook the exhausting and dangerous work of catching the fish, and women who would then gut the fish and pack them in barrels of salt, the labourers, carriers and the coopers.
My Couper ancestors were coopers – presumably engaged in supplying the herring fishers with some of the 1000s of barrels they needed each season to pack the fish.