From 1500 to 1800, the waters off
Newfoundland teemed with cod, attracting over one hundred thousand
ships and millions of European fishermen. The cod fishery generated
huge profits that surpassed even those of the fur trade. It
remained one of the main resources of eastern Canada's maritime
regions until the 1992 moratorium.
his painting shows a small
fishing vessel engaged in the green fishery on Newfoundland's Grand
Bank. In 1754, a similar ship could catch on average 50 tons of cod
over a period of six months using fishing lines. Today, a
medium-sized trawler can take in 25 tons in a single haul!
n the eve of the 1992
moratorium on the cod fishery, a factory trawler with sophisticated
equipment such as radar, sonar, and computers to manage its
operations from the moment the fish were spotted to the moment
they got to market, could locate, catch, process and refrigerate
an entire school of fish in 24 hours.