"'Wet wells,' watertight ship holds with holes for circulating seawater, were used as early as the sixteenth century in Holland. ... New Englanders also built 'well smacks,' ships with wet wells to transport fish to Boston and New York. But mortality was high in the crowded, sloshing, oxygen-deprived wells. Cod, ling, and other gadiforms caught in deep water could not survive in wells."
—Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (New York: Penguin, 1997), 133