Canadian Geographic
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Atlantic Region


Atlantic fisheries
The Maritime provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec account for roughly 75 percent of Canada’s total fish catch. In the Atlantic Maritime, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island fishers ply the waters where they find a variety of fish, including cod, grey sole, flounder, redfish, and shellfish. Nova Scotia is the leading producer of fish (about 30 percent of total production), followed by Newfoundland and Labrador and the Pacific Coast fishery of British Columbia (each about 20 percent). In terms of value, the same rankings apply. Along the Atlantic coast, some 1,000 communities mainly depend on the fisheries and related industries such as fish processing plants and shipbuilding. Any change in the fishery industry exerts a powerful effect on the communities that support it.

Before the 1992 ban, Newfoundlanders depended mostly on cod. They still fish in the Grand Banks, where cod and other groundfish congregate in the shallow waters of the continental shelf. But focus on different fish and fishing techniques has superseded the onetime dependence on cod fishing, and has resulted in a rejuvenation of the Newfoundland and Labrador economy. Sales of snow crab and northern shrimp, whose catches require fishing farther from shore and in deeper waters, have increased dramatically since 1992. Increased production of crab and shrimp has opened new markets and has resulted in the construction and operation of new processing plants. Of the 30,000 fishers who lost their jobs in 1992, more than half are again employed.


Farming fishing A map of Canada highlights the Atlantic region, which then recedes and is replaced by a more detailed map of the region. A text box at the bottom has labels that offer statistics on on Fishing and Farming when clicked.


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What is Prince Edward Island's best known crop?