There has been fishing at Fisherrow and Musselburgh since Roman times, and the present 18th-century harbour is very close to the Roman harbour that served the Inveresk Roman fort on the high ground east of the River Esk. The Fisherrow fishermen used to fish for herring, and later for white fish, prawns and sprats. The harbour was home to a large fishing fleet.
Fishing villages were close-knit communities, and there was a Fishwives' Choir, and golf tournaments took place between the fishwives of Musselburgh and Fisherrow. Fishermen and fishwives held a "Box Walk" each September which marked the end of the fishing season, and an opportunity to give presents of money to those in need.
In 1939, the Firth of Forth became a strategic area for the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, and fishing activities were curtailed. Fishermen's Associations and politicians protested against this, and some of the restrictions were lifted. But despite this, many fishermen were called up, and the Navy commandeered some of the boats for war service.
The local Sea Cadets receive training at Fisherrow Harbour and at their Unit in South Street.
Fisherrow Sands is the area between Fisherrow harbour and the mouth of the River Esk.
Fisherrow Waterfront Group is a community group who are working to improve the appearance and amenity of the Fisherrow Waterfront and ensure the community can play a part in the area.