Sierra Nevada Mountains, Monterey Bay, San Francisco discussed on Asian American History 101

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The fishermen began to bring the families over. Whole families would work fishing nuts together. Eventually, in 1900, 200 to 800 pounds of fresh fish were sent to fishmongers on clay street in San Francisco. Their dried products were also a huge portion of their income shipping to the Sierra Nevada mountains and more. Of course, eventually the Chinese fishers were faced with competition and Monterey bay started to become extremely crowded with European immigrants. There was a huge Italian fishing community that eventually took over what used to be Chinese fishing grounds. Chinese fishers tried to get around the conflict by fishing at night for squid, but anti Chinese sentiment was raging and new laws were enacted between 1875 and 1900 that disproportionately affected the Chinese operations. The 1882 Chinese exclusion act was really the start and increased discrimination, new taxes, and exclusionary legislation meant a huge decline in the Chinese American abalone trade. With the exclusion act, new immigrants couldn't come to America. So the older generation of Chinese fishermen eventually grew too old to continue working, along with that, local and state governments started to pass more laws and taxes to force the Chinese fishing communities to cease to exist. A lot of the laws were passed under the guise of conservation. But these laws didn't seem to apply to European immigrants. In fact, heavy fishing continued under Euro American fishers and the industry continued to grow. The abalone was over exploited and by 1990 California abalone basically disappeared due to disease and overfishing. In fact, now only red abalone is found in Northern California, and it's highly regulated and is currently closed. In fact, the red abalone fishing season is estimated to stay closed until 2026 and possibly longer. Chinese fishers were forced to as monterrey newspapers describe it, sell their boats starting in the 1890s and by the early 1900s only a few existed. During the late 1800s, a group called the Pacific improvement company, which was actually a subsidiary of the southern Pacific railroad, bought the land that the Chinese lived on. It was pretty well known that the owners and the locals wanted the Chinese gone. Then, on the night of May 16th, 1906, a mysterious fire ended up destroying the majority of the Chinese village. In fact, it took every structure besides the Joss house, and though it is unconfirmed, the fire is believed to have started from suspicious origins..

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