Canadian Geographic
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19th Century

The well-established merchant-directed fishery, concentrating upon cod taken close to shore, continued to dominate the economy and society of much of coastal Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence. Along the Atlantic coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick a mixed-species fishery developed with the growth of resident populations. In both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland certain districts fitted schooners for summer fishing trips into the Gulf and to the coast of Labrador. In addition, vessels from the United States and France took massive hauls from the same fish stocks and from the offshore banks.

By the 1870s and 1880s new directions in the development of the fisheries appeared. The Americans and Nova Scotians withdrew from the fishery at Labrador, leaving it to the Newfoundlanders. The Americans gave up the Gulf mackerel fishery, devoting more attention to their cod fishery on the banks. The French shore-based operation of northern Newfoundland, once important in training sailing-ship crews, now stagnated as the navy turned to steam. Yarmouth, Shelburne, and Lunenburg outfitted schooners and the era of the Bluenose, the dory, and the trawl-line began; increasingly they competed with the Americans and the French for the cod of the banks. Seals and lobsters added significantly to the coastal economy of particular areas. In Atlantic Canada fish, agriculture, wood, and a variety of other resources formed the basis for a well-developed occupational pluralism.


This interactive piece allows users to select four different charts and one map that break down details of topics surrounding Canadian Fisheries circa 1850-1900, including Nova Scotia Fisheries Exports and the Rise and Fall of Newfoundland fishery.


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20th Century

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Quiz :

For how many days did cod dry in good drying conditions?

2 days
10 days
15 days