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Inshore Cod Fishery
After hundreds of hours of chipping and gauging on a tiny scale, Francis Patey has recreated the history of Newfoundland and Labrador as it relates to the backbone of rural Newfoundland in the inshore Cod Fishery.. [Click photos to view full size]..
In earlier years, the cod trap was the main source of catching cod from June to early September, at which time the inshore fishery continued until December with the trawl, hook and line, and the cod jigger..
In the seventies, a new method of catching cod was introduced to the inshore fishery.. This was the gill net, at which time many fishermen said “we will curse the day that the gill net was first used”.. By the early eighties alarm bells began to ring indicating that something was happening.. The inshore northern cod fishery’s catches were way down.. Then, fingers started pointing.. Most fishermen blamed the decrease on offshore draggers, especially those from other countries, but our own Canadian ships shared part of the blame and closer to shore, the gill net was also put to blame..
By the early nineties, catches were at an all time low.. On July 02, 1992, John Crosby, then Federal Minister of Fisheries, placed a two year moratorium on the northern cod fishery.. Now, some 18 years later the moratorium is still in existence except for a very limited test fishery and a limited food and recreational fishery.. The cod moratorium was the greatest financial disaster ever to hit rural Newfoundland and Labrador from which it never did recover..
Since the moratorium, inshore fisher people ventured into another fishery, namely the shell fishery such as crab and shrimp.. Today, fishermen are saying that this fishery too, will go the way of the northern cod because we have too many boats fishing for so little fish.. Even without these signs, most inshore fishermen will say no other fishery will replace the cod fishery financially..
The display may be viewed at 9 Lamage Point Road, St. Anthony East, please drop by..