On Monterey's waterfront the words sardine, salmon, mackerel, pompano, albacore, abalone, flounder, and squid were music to the ears of fishermen. With its deep underwater canyon, Monterey Bay hosted a sealife jamboree long before the native Rumsien set out in small tule boats to harvest its bounty. It has sounded a siren call to fishermen and biologists ever since. Chinese fishermen pioneered modern commercial fishing in the 1850s, clustering in villages along Monterey's rugged coast. The cry 'Baleia!' sounded through town, summoning Portuguese whalers to their longboats. Japanese divers in primitive hard-hat gear brought a sea snail called abalone to national attention, while Sicilians earned Monterey the title 'sardine capital of the world.' The railroad opened the way for visitors to discover this natural coastal paradise, now a tourist mecca.