Barley has been grown in the area since Anglo-Saxon times and still plays a major role in the local economy today. Grain silos and flour mills are prominent structures around Berwick. The best quality barley is malted in Tweedmouth to supply the Scotch whisky trade.
Salmon have been netted in the River Tweed for over 1,000 years. Most of the fisheries were closed in the 1980s to conserve salmon stocks, but a handful of fishermen still work with their nets and traditional boats, or cobbles, during the summer.
The 19th century was the heyday of the herring-fishing industry, when each year a fleet of herring-boats followed the migrating shoals of herring down the North Sea coast, shadowed by an army of fisher-lasses who gutted the fish and packed them with salt in barrels for export. Some of the upturned old herring-boats can be seen at Holy Island harbour, serving as storage sheds for fishing gear. Seahouses is said to be the first place where the modern method of kippering herring was developed. Kippers are still produced in traditional smoke-houses in Seahouses, Craster and Eyemouth today.