Newfoundland Cod Fishermen in the 1930s

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The hardy people on the island of Newfoundland have battled the elements, the ocean and its North Atlantic isolation to make a living, ever since the first European pioneers settled its rocky shores centuries ago.

John Cabot landed on the island of Newfoundland in 1497. Cabot (1450 – 1500) was a Venetian navigator and explorer whose 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England was the first European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. Upon his return to England, Cabot reported that the Newfoundland waters were so plentiful with fish that nets were not needed, but could be dipped up merely with baskets.

This well preserved 1930s black and white film of the deep sea cod fishery on the banks off Newfoundland leave nothing to doubt, regarding not only the quantity of fish out there at that time, but also the daily dangers that the fishermen faced to eke out a meager existence.




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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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