A catch of fish is sorted and prepared in the foreground on the harbour quay. This bustle of human activity, captured with a few brushstrokes and echoed in a fishing boat on the right, contrasts with the relative calm of the harbour and open sea beyond. The dawn sky punctuated by the masts of fishing boats dominates the scene. Turner used the blue paper to great effect, conveying the colourful transition from night to day. This drawing may have been made during the mid 1820s when Turner first began to use blue paper.