During the early 1880s, James Cox photographed the fishermen and their families in the villages of West Haven and Auchmithie, to the east of Dundee. These photographs recognise the hardship of the fishing industry and often emphasise the dangerous and extremely exhausting nature of the work. Cox’s images of children show how they were expected to assume adult responsibilities from an early age. The girl in this photograph wears sturdy boots and a heavy basket, indicating that she too worked hard to make a living for the family. Children often helped collect bait, such a mussels and other shellfish, from the sea shore; a job that was cold, wet and tiring. The bait would later be attached to the hooks on the fishing lines and taken out to sea by the fishermen.