Appeals from decrees of the District Court of Florida, condemning two fishing vessels and their cargoes as prize of war. Each vessel was a fishing smack, running in & out Havana, under Spanish Flag, owned by Spanish subject of Cuban birth, commanded by a subject of Spain. Cargo consisted of fresh fish. Until stopped by the blockading squadron, it had no knowledge of war or any blockade. They had no arms, no munitions, and made no resistance at the time of capture.
After referring that fishing vessels have been excepted from the effects of hostilities, and freedom of fishing has been allowed in the wars of 1521 UK v France, US v Mexico 1848, Crimean War 1854, Japan v China 1894, the court stated: