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The Great Fishery

A photograph of a motorboat rudder and propeller of the Newfoundland fishery.

Newfoundland had the richest fishing grounds in the world for almost 500 years from the discovery of The New World until 1980s. The people worked extremely hard but reaped few benefits, essentially slaves to merchants for centuries. After confederation in 1949, Canada sold out to foreign countries who vacumned the fish from the Grand Banks using large factory freezer trawlers and draggers, essentially destroying the massive stocks.

If you grew up in Newfoundland in the 1970s and 80s you witnessed the tail-end of a great era: fishing and outport way of life. The transition was not pretty as domestic and foreign overfishing decimated the cod stocks. Successive provincial governments mismanaged the economy and left the province in financial and economic ruin. That is where we stand today: rampant unemployment, low paying jobs, high taxes and cost of living, and government bloat and debt.